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Poppin' Time Again
By
Survivor

Poppin' Time Again

What's that I hear?

Driving along the highway.

POP.

There it goes again, you think. Sounds like a rock hitting the side of the car. That can't be good. Might ruin the finish. This car is only five or six years old.

Dammit all. Nothing to do. It's just gravel or stones along the highway. Can't avoid 'em.

You let it go. Let it pass from your mind. 

Days later you're heading down the highway again. 

POP.

What the heck. You didn't see any rocks. Must be too small. Can't avoid it. It's crazy. It's loud, too. Even with the music on.

Nothing to do, you suppose. Doesn't she hear it? Didn't say anything. She hasn't ever noticed it.

She's always with you when the darn rocks are pinging. But she never hears it. Doesn't say anything, anyway. Just listens to the radio playing her alt-rock station.  

Never remembering to check for damage so maybe you don't want to see any damage. Then you forget it.

Weeks pass and you drive around a lot, but always alone. It never seems to happen when you're alone. And you usually play the NPR station. Or the BBC news. She has her own car. You listen to music, too. Not all the time. 

Does she get pings on her car?

POP. 

It's happening more often on some trips, you think. The longer ones you are taking together. Like that one just now. Not just once along the way anymore. It happens, but not all the time. She never notices it. Says nothing. What can you do?

Only happens when she is in the car.

Only happens when she is with you in the car going down the highway.

Finally, POP.

"Did you hear that? I guess something is hitting the car."

Pause. "Oh, that was my gum. It pops." Looking over and she's smiling. Nodding to the music. Imagine Dragons is playing. "I like this song. Need to write it down."

You reach over and shade the radio display from the sun while she writes the song down. 

POP.

What the hell, you think. You want to say something. But. What does it matter? It's annoying as heck. But she's loving the music. She's happy. Not always. Not all the time, you think. What the heck.

Let her enjoy her gum. Let her enjoy her music.

What does it matter?

It's one more good memory for her to keep. Maybe, you think. Maybe it's a good memory to keep.

You drive down the highway. The music plays The Revivalists and then Arctic Monkeys. She's flipping the pup's ears up to the music.

POP.

 

 

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