Sticky Vinyl


Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
to go in a hungry deep green Ford Gran Torino
and Are We There Yet and She’s on My Side
and a board on the floor so we can both
stretch out long and sleep while Dad drives
miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.

I want the top bunk at Gran’s house and a dipped
cone from Whipple Dairy and I want to go to Aunt
Mary’s pool because it has grass to lay on and I
want to save my souvenir money for one big cool
thing. Listening to The Whistler and The Lone
Ranger on tape and maybe by side B we’ll be there.

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
and nothing but license plates to watch (I got
Alaska and Hawaii, both in Kansas. What else is
and the sun is blinding me and if my
brother touches my Etch-a-Sketch one.more.time.
I’m gonna strangle him and leave him in Indiana.

Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
and a good three hours and a bad radiator and a
water park later, we pull in. Sleepy and cramped and
damp with sweat and grape Slurpees. Hair stuck to
our cheeks and a nearly a week’s worth of energy
and grump all stored up. But we’re There. We’re here.


Quickly invites us to share a slice of childhood vacation.
I grew up in several different states, and my grandparents always lived in Ohio, so this is probably an amalgamation of many cross-country treks. The majority of it is most likely from Rough Rock, Arizona to Canton, circa approximately 1980. Can you taste that grape Slurpee? Yeah, me, too.


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4 Responses to Sticky Vinyl

  1. What a nod to Kansas the Land of Oz (ahhs).

  2. I can feel those mile and miles. And that sticky grape slurpee! And one big cool thing – I remember that feeling. And I like your description of the car as “hungry.”

  3. Wonderful tetchy treat. Journeys used to be so long when we were young, and now they seem much shorter.

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