We drove west from West Branch over the rolling hills of northern central Michigan toward Houghton and Higgins Lakes, beneath the canopy of fresh new emerald green leaves the trees still in the budding stage waving in the breeze soaking up light to put in storage for the next revolution of seasonal change.
The sun warm and friendly cascading over the leaves dappled the road with splotches of moving gold color.
We passed farms large and small, rich soil turned in furrows corn already a foot high, large swaths of the primal forests still visible a mile or so across the rich farmland.
The talk was bland and fun. We used our time riding in the car to go back in time. To visit the past. We told stories, each of us adding details from our own perspective. Our stories seemed as funny the fifth of sixth or tenth time we told them.
Like the time we pulled off the highway driving alongside a field of cattle to a point where I could pee without being seen. As I got back in the car I noticed a big black bull staring at us from the other side of the fence.
I wanted to go see if I could have a conversation with the bull. I’d be standing on the dirt road talking to him, the bull behind a barbed wire fence and a little swale between us. We’d have plenty of time to flee if the bull charged through the fence. It didn’t seem unsafe to me.
I didn’t have to make my intentions known. The second the bottoms of my feet touched gravel the car jumped forward, picking up speed.
I yelled for her to please stop, “Talking to the bull would not be dangerous. It couldn’t break through the fence.”
“You’re not going to be talk to any bulls!”
I told her I was going to jump. Her foot never left the accelerator. My feet were skimming over the top of the stone pebbles. It sounded like something was being dragged or sandpaper on wood only a lot louder.
I pictured myself leaping from the car just to spite her and of course to be funny which I decided against because I didn’t think being bruised and broken would be very funny.
We exchanged profanities. I mentioned my love of animals. We were yelling over the sound of my feet dragging, the soles of my shoes being worn down. I told you I was sure I could make contact with the bull so it would probably stay docile. She said, “Then, you’ll want to go even closer so I’M NOT GOING BACK.”
Back on the highway, I feigned pouting, complaining under my breath. She’d smile thinking she had put something over on me. I teased her. “You just think you are so fucking special don’t you because you made me do what YOU wanted me to do. You should have a fucking part time job as a dominatrix you’re so good at imposing your will on people. Admit it! You’re a control freak, aren’t you?” She laughed her high pitched, ”He he he,” laugh. Her face turned red.
When she laughed her face turned more beautiful. Light beams from the crinkles around her eyes, she looked pure and fresh like she did in in fifth grade when I discovered her walking home from school one cloudy cold January day, taken aback by something mysterious and wonderful about her, unable to take my eyes away.
What ensued is a beautiful story about true love. Experiences that occured on Valentines Day that would have a lasting affect on us for the rest of our lives.
I could call her a bitch or a whore dog and the incongruity was so ridiculous to both of us that we couldn’t stop smirking and laughing. She loved to be called names. We both pictured the audacity of her looking like a whore dog.
I could take these excursions into sexual audacity as far as I wanted. I could tease her about blow jobs telling her the next time something like that happens I’m going to make her suck my cock in the front seat of the car parked in a parallel parking spot in the next town we came to.
She’d laugh and laugh. “Shut up,” I’d say, “You think I won’t?”
She laughs at herself when I call her names. It’s a reflection of her own sense of sarcasm or maybe it was the irony.
We must have laughed reliving that story a dozen times while driving down the road somewhere passing old silos, dilapidated farm houses standing but by a few rotted beams always luring me inside, tempted by the unknown that lurks inside, one room school houses lived in, rusted trucks, transmission housings in the front yard, feed and seed stores, gas stations that sold bait and deer licenses past miles and miles of rolling land, rich soil corn to be ‘knee high by the fourth of july,” cutting through the cool spring air laughing and talking making fun, talking sex or those fucking republicans.
Driving with her in the car gave me free access to her face. I could lean back against the door or rest my arm on the console and look at her and laugh and let my eyes wander as I explored her face and watched her every movement; her idiosyncracies, the unique person she is endlessly fascinating, endlessly funny; endlessly ‘something I can’t put into words’
We had double vision. We saw everything we both saw. We were in perfect tune with each other. We never questioned this aspect of our relationship. We seldom talked about it. Talking would have taken away from the sharing. Why not just relax and enjoy it. And this is what we did.