We're in the big old Chrysler on the road between the Springs and Pueblo, headed for the race track. I'm in the front seat and Daddy's driving, probably playing the country station he likes, but that part's not clear. Maybe I'm pushing the buttons and it's Doors or Stones. He has a smile on his face, the one he gets when no one is asking him for anything, and I am slouched against the window, watching the subdevelopments smear into cottonwoods along the river. We're in a lane by ourselves and I am liking this ride, floating smooth. I get carsick when it's any other way. When I glance down at the speedometer, though, I see we're doing 90. I never really thought the car could go this fast. However many horsepower it's got under the hood, I never saw him gun it this way and let the stampede go.
I don't say a word, don't even wish for him to ease off the gas, though when the needle drifts to 95 he glances over to see if I'll yelp. There are pockets of time like this one when neither of us asks the obvious question, or says the "parent thing." He is on his way to bet money that he doesn't have to lose, and he's taking me along so I can spend the weekend with my boyfriend, who lives not far from the track. I'm probably still in high school, probably a senior, probably, those years being what they were, dressed in hot pants and a halter top, hardly dressed at all. And some part of me is wondering if anyone will say anything to slow this movie down, the car, sure, because this straightaway is patrolled, but also the long weekend date, the trifecta bets-you "box" the dogs-the spiral into what I'm calling freedom but also freefalling, ground rushing up before I'm ready, everything going too fast.