Exercise #5 from Old Friend From Far Away
I couldn’t help it. Car rides made me sick. From the time I was first strapped in all wiggly and cooing, it wasn’t long until the nausea set in.
And since Mom didn’t drive and there were so many older kids, I didn’t go too many places except on the big trips, to grandparents’, to aunts’ and uncles’. They were always long drives, scenic, up and down “tickle-belly” hills.
Dad had a van, it was two-tone brown and tan with the extra tire on back and a ladder to the top. The back windows were shaded with those nifty pictures you could see from the outside, but didn’t hinder the driving–trees hinting at a forest, an orange sun, the tail end of a buck looking back, listening.
After enough trips Ma found a medicine to help with the motion sickness, a liquid, amaretto flavored, thick like cough syrup. In the morning, after a big breakfast and right before we piled our masses in to the back of the van, she’d take me to the kitchen, have me tip back my head and choke it down.