I remember my father’s initial stroke
against my cheek
as my brother peeled away layers
of cool leather, fur, fleece
I was sleeping amongst
a bed swollen with visitor’s coats
in my grandmother’s bedroom

In a slow blink, we three were outside
in the silent, night time chill
I was in my father’s arms
my vision fogged in the curling vapor of his beer breath
But could see my older brother who sleep-walked alongside
We approached the dark headlights of our wall-eyed Caprice Classic
that had been ruefully watching
awaiting our return

We slipped in, backed out, honked
The sensation of forward floating, of easy suspension
lulled me again
But there was hardness against my head, the car window
A vague circular blooming chilled my skull
But I was too tired to move
I remember the car’s dark roof liner above us
The absolute blackness of it, like glimpsing
the night sky’s inner slip, devoid of stars
But through the windows
light still penetrated
Each passing street light’s indirection
caused the interior to pensively glow and dim
and glide upon the chrome trim around us
the door handles, the backseat ashtray, the window cranks

I remember the harsh turn signal
urgently snapping in my ear
wanting my attention
This break in the silence the only indication
that anything else existed
outside of this luxurious night time reverie
I roused briefly to hear the radio murmuring, glowing weakly
like the tender ends of a dying idea
We are in our car, our nice big car, I reminded myself
A car as invulnerable as our father

The car stopped, then silence, then ticking
My father’s warm hands
slipped beneath me
I opened my eyes to glance toward the familiar lane
that stretched before our apartment building
But it wasn’t there
My brother was tapping my elbow
Had been for some time
I had believed in that instant
I had accidentally napped us into a wormhole
and reversed time itself
but came to a horrible realization
that we had arrived again at grandmother’s
and our father didn’t know it

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