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.