A Drive to Remember

by Samantha Norwood (United States of America)

A decision that pushed me to the edge USA


I met the hazy light of a new dawn outside the front door of my friends home. Descending the steps of their porch I approached my car and my stomach dropped. For a moment my mind didn’t comprehend what I was seeing. The doors of my car were all wide open. It seemed as if all the insides of my car had been ripped out and pasted onto the pavement on the road. Shards of plastic had erupted from my passengers seats and sealed containers filled with food had leeched out into the gravel and dirt across the street. I took in the vivid array of color slandering the pavement and my breath caught in my throat. I felt a bristling at the nape of my neck as I heard curses and rushed footsteps inside the home. As I stepped closer to my car, I began to smell the acrid stench of fermenting food and the musk of wildlife. I heard voices shouting from the house, but I couldn’t hear them in the back of my mind. I peered down at my seats, sopping wet with coffee, Cabernet, and bear musk. I saw the drying nose prints across my dashboard. I felt bitterness creeping up and considered the fact that my trip was about to end. But I also felt the small whisper of determination brimming through the anxiety and debilitation. I had already made the decision. I walked myself through it carefully. I began to pick at the garbage littering the street. I was joined by welcome hands, and soft voices, guiding and encouraging me. Together we cleaned up the mayhem. I drove the next 2,047 miles with the windows down, sitting on top of towels and garbage bags tucked neatly around my drivers seat. I am still haunted by the smell that is still clinging my upholstery after 2 shampoos and several vaccuming sessions. But every time I smell it, I am reminded of all the beautiful people that I met, the amazing sights that I saw. But most importantly, of that moment. That decision that was already inside of me. Just waiting for the opportunity to be unleashed.