by Homosexual Degani
The aunt, she’s at all times proper. Don’t interrupt her. Don’t contradict her. Don’t defy her in anyway. When she says, ‘Darling Viviana, wouldn’t or not it’s enjoyable to take a street journey, simply you and me, someday this summer time?’
Viviana bends her head down, clears her throat, coughs.
Aunt: Nicely, why not? Do you could have something higher to do?
The aunt, 86, has an infinite period of time to take trip. Her life is a trip. Viviana not a lot. She’s in summer time college having failed biology, she’s in an SAT prep class as a result of she has to earn a excessive rating so she will go distant from house to school, perhaps the East Coast, perhaps someplace in Maine, perhaps the Sorbonne. In addition to, she’s on a ladies’ softball staff, she’s the catcher, not simply changed as a result of she’s obtained iron knees. She will be able to squat for hours.
Aunt: You’ll be able to miss one or two issues. Who wants biology? And also you’re actually good should you simply apply your self. You don’t at all times apply your self. You’ll be able to examine within the automobile. You’ll be able to hearken to lectures in your telephone. You may have these stuff you stick in your ears—these beet issues? Why do they name them that anyway? Nobody eats beets. You’ll be able to drive and I’ll level out the surroundings. And I’ll assist drive.
Viviana rolls her eyes. The very final thing Viviana would ever do is let Aunt drive. And it could be Viviana’s automobile as a result of Aunt hasn’t owned a automobile since she crashed her pink Seville, and Viviana nonetheless remembers the Mr. Toad’s Wild Experience of 2011 when Aunt careened their approach up Freeway 1, waving at Hearst Fortress, stopping at each winery to pattern wine, virtually going off the street when Aunt noticed a “large whale” which turned out to be an oil tanker. Then there was the 17-mile trek to take photos of seven golf programs, stopping within the nineteenth gap to speak with previous males in plaid pants. By the point they reached San Francisco, Viviana was complete wreck.
Now she tells her aunt, no, nope, nyet, no approach Jose. By no means occur.
They begin at 4:30 A.M. on a Saturday morning, Auntie, in fact, taking part in out her “summer time journey” routine from which she’s going to by no means fluctuate. Dandy Donuts is their first cease, in fact. An enormous field of donuts within the backseat, espresso within the cup holders, and so they’re on the street once more.
It’s a protracted drive by means of the desert, summer time temps sweltering round a 100, and Aunt is nothing if not ready. She’s packed two massive, insulated carryalls with sandwiches, eating regimen Coke, and Iced T, luggage of treats, Fritos, Oreos, and eating regimen popcorn. She’s ready for hydration, caffeination, and together with her rolls of bathroom paper, the inevitable roadside potty break.
Viviana adjusts her Beats and activates “The Official SAT Prep.” Saved in middle console are “SAT IntelliPREP,” “SAT AudioLearn,” and “SAT Phrases to Go.” It’s laborious going although as a result of Aunt has the radio cranked to Rock ‘n’ Roll Radiodiddely. The DJ’s supply is as quick as a carny pitchman, ‘Howdy, Daddy-O and Mommy-O. That is Jocko. Lemme grease your wheel—’
Quickly they’re crossing the Colorado River heading east towards Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, Auntie folding and unfolding large paper maps as a result of she doesn’t belief something on the web.
‘It’s a conspiracy,’ she says, and Viviana rolls her eyes and turns up the audio on her telephone. Aunt settles again in her seat, closes her eyes, and smiles a large happy smile.
Viviana turns to have a look at her aunt. Thinks, she gained. She at all times wins.
In fact, this time Aunt supplied her most persuasive argument. ‘May very well be our final journey, Vivi, and we do have a lot enjoyable.’
Viviana takes out her earplugs. “Splish-Splash I Was Taking a Tub,” cranks out of the radio. She and Aunt look at one another and take part, laughing out the phrases.
Homosexual Degani has acquired nominations and honors for her work together with Pushcart consideration, Better of the Web, and Finest Small Fictions. Her work has appeared on-line, in print journals and in anthologies. She has revealed a chapbook about moms, Pomegranate, a full-length assortment, Rattle of Need, (Pure Slush Press) and a suspense novel, What Got here Earlier than (Reality Serum Press). She sometimes blogs at Phrases in Place.