Central New York.

Here’s a little something that I’ve been working on in my, ahem, spare time. The beginning of a book, perhaps? Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

It’s so early. Like the time in between nighttime and day time, which I’m sure has a name, but I don’t know what that is. All I know is it’s really freaking early. And I’m tired, both physically and mentally. Spending my nights making the doughnuts is exactly like they make it look in the old commercial. It’s surprisingly accurate, actually, with the doughnut guy half comatose, constantly needing to slap his co-workers awake. I’ve been making the doughnuts and waiting on men in Dickies all night, as they stop in for crappy coffee and crappy food to fuel all of the plowing and towing they’ll be doing at night and into the morning. As I left work this (very) early morning, it became obvious that I was leaving at the peak of a snowstorm, driving on not-yet-cleared roads the 7 windy miles to my dad’s house, where I will sleep for 4 hours until I get up for my next job. That is, if I make it home.

And I do. As I approach the ridiculously steep, nearly vertical driveway of my parents’ house, I am reminded of the conversation that I had with my father a few nights before:

“It’s going to start snowing soon. You may have trouble making it up the driveway with those tires.”

“I know, Dad. I’ve got it.”

“Alright then. Just remember that you’re going to want to straighten your wheel at the bottom, and then I recommend gunning it. Otherwise you may want to just park at the bottom.”

“God! I am not parking at the bottom of the driveway and walking up to the top at 6 in the morning in the middle of a snowstorm after working all night! Seriously! It’s not a big deal! I know how to drive!”

And then, I huffed.

Like, totally.

I’m remembering this as I straighten my wheel and gun it. I’m still thinking of this as my tires spin and I reverse to try it again. And I’m still thinking of this as, halfway up the long, treacherous driveway, the car itself begins to spin out of control and finally comes to a stop wedged between two trees, nice and tight. And also while I call a tow truck and spend an hour and a half of my four-hour sleep time waiting and then watching the guy I just served hot shitty coffee to try to dislodge my poor car from between the two trees, I am thinking of that conversation. And I will think of it each time my car gets stuck in the driveway that winter, including the morning that I try to leave my father’s house for warmer pastures (are there pastures in the west?) but am unable to do so, because of the copious amounts of stupid fucking snow that piled up overnight. And finally, I will think of it as I watch my stepmother—who was most likely desperate for her bitter, sarcastic, know-it-all daughter to get the hell out of her house, but was too nice to make that known—drive her jeep up and down the driveway over and over again, so as to clear my path straight out of Central New York.

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10 Comments

Filed under Before Children.

10 responses to “Central New York.

  1. Janice Geddes

    Since I know where you lived and I know you, I love this! I can picture all of it – and it gives a very accurate picture of CNY and the problems associated with our lovely winters. I think I’d love it even if I didn’t know you and where you lived, come to think of it. Keep going.

  2. Love it! It has a poetic feel to it. Makes me want to read more….

  3. Annie

    Well it must be good because you have triggered a ptsd attack!!!! Ask me sometime about the Christmas vacation drive home from Ithaca to Utica when I was almost literally the last car they let on the Thruway before closing it!!!!!

  4. I remember, this one time, you had an idea. It was a really good idea. Somehow the shortest post you ever wrote just made much of the project crystallize in my brain. Now I just need some “spare” time…

  5. Maureen

    ahhh yes. I have an achingly similar story. My dad warned me about driving carefully as I left their house on a snowy evening. I was a 20 yr old know it all and huffed and whined, God Dad! I know how to drive in the snow! Within a mile of the house I slid right on through a neighbor’s fence. Simply LOVED calling my dad for help that evening. 🙂

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