Alone In a Car With a Song


I run my fingers through my freshly cut hair as I drive 60 mph down the highway.  I catch the scent of whatever shiny goodness my hairdresser has run through my strands and smile.  A song comes on the radio and I can feel something rising in me…

begging to be released…

pounding at the top of my throat to be set free to the drum machine and salt shaker rhythm…

but the yawp comes out so tenderly…

at first:

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion –
Is nothing new
Flashback – warm nights –
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after –

As I veer toward my exit off the highway there are flashes of my twelve year old self twirling in lace fingerless gloves.

I see myself in the bathroom mirror…

caressing the hairbrush mic…

fogging the mirror with the closeness of my breath.

Then a flash of the young adult me…

endless nights of Romy and Michelle and interpretive dance.

My voice catches with emotion and I check my far away look in the rearview mirror:

After my picture fades and darkness has 
Turned to gray
Watching through windows – you’re wondering
If I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time –

As I roll my car into the garage of home, the ancient howl is finally let loose.

My voice is hoarse as I grasp at the air with my fingers and fists.

If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me
Time after time

I sing, howl, and sob-laugh the words from deep inside me:

If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting 
Time after time

In my parked car, grabbing at my hair, I sing.

I sing in the ancient sense.

I sing…

not with the glee of a woman who has just stepped out of a salon,

but with the desperation of a stay at home mother to small children.

I sing while swimming in the frenzy of disappearing youth, exciting milestones, sleepless anguish, and wonderfully heavy responsibility.

I sing like it’s the end of the mother f*cking world…

Because it will be a long undetermined time before I’m alone in the car with a song again.

If you’re lost…
…Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time





Alone with a song

13 responses to “Alone In a Car With a Song”

  1. Jen says:

    Oh yes! Sing it, baby for soon your car will be filled with little people who say, “Mom, your singing hurts my ears.”

  2. Alison says:

    I haven’t been alone in the car for a while.

  3. If I sing in the car, my children inform me that I should stop.

    So I sing louder, naturally.

  4. Ahhhh…you just brought back some memories! No wonder the 80/90 channel is always where I get stuck when I’m in the car alone! Maybe this is another reason that I’m glad to be heading back to work next year…I haven’t listened to new music in AGES!

  5. Rusti says:

    I’m alone in the car twice a day for about 20 minutes… on the way from daycare to work, and then back again… often I’m using that time to make phone calls I won’t otherwise be able to make due to a child singing loudly in my face to trying to take my phone from my hand… ya know, kid things 😉 I love a good song on a sunny day though – and I too belt out many a song… sometimes with a giant smile, other times with crocodile tears…

  6. Katie says:

    this song makes me sob EVERY. TIME. I belt it out. Every damn time.

  7. Alexandra says:

    THe one that does me in is David Bowie’s “China Girl.” Don’t know why. BUt I hear ya. xo

  8. Oh yeah. And that’s such a singable song. But the transition from “woo hoo” to “boo hoo” is way to fast when you’re a mom, isn’t it?

  9. Terram says:

    Is it weird that one of the very few things I miss about my full time office job was the 40 minute commute? Alone. In the car. Listening to my own damn music – and it was never, EVER about spiders, elephants or monkeys.

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