Car Doors and Sunflowers

from the vault, into my world

Note: This essay was written for a class & is a segmented essay. Intentionally.


I’m generally not a fan of car floors. There’s a reason my mother would pay us twice as much to clean the inside of the car as the outside: the inside of the average vehicle is a gross place, gathering dirt, hair, and the crumbs of hastily eaten Subway sandwiches and granola bars.

Minivans seem to attract even more of these elements than a tame four-door five-seater, and after two weeks of the six of us more or less living in our minivan, its rugs had little to recommend itself as a floor, let alone a bed.

And yet, there I was, lying on the floor of our minivan in a sleeping bag, pressed between Chloe, my smallest sister, and the back of the driver’s seat, trying not to think about how many pairs of dirty shoes had rested where I was trying to sleep. The skies to the South and to the East of Badlands National Park were bright with lightning, an unwanted nightlight. Thunder grumbled in the distance. I glared at the ceiling and felt my sister’s hot breath on my neck, thinking enviously of my parents sleeping in the cool evening outside.

I wished that this campsite at least had running water so we could’ve washed our feet before bed.

October 9, 2018

from the vault, into my world

Last night was my mother’s birthday. And, like everything else my family does, it was messy.

My family decided to drive down and have dinner in Newberg because I don’t have a car, which makes going north difficult. This would be an excellent idea, except that I let my dad choose the restaurant based only on reviews–and not the actual setting of the restaurant. And I the only Mexican restaurant in Newberg that I can visualize is the bakery, so I didn’t realize which restaurant he was talking about until I was standing in front of it.