Michael Neal Morris

Road Home

               A white truck passing me on the left was nothing new, even one pulling an RV trailer. That is Texas. I didn’t even check to see if it had the seemingly requisite. “Don’t Tread on Me” or “Make American Great Again” stickers. But when I glanced over and saw my mother, who had been dead a year and a half, in the passenger seat looking through her reading glasses at something in her lap, I thought I might be in the middle of one of those dreams that come to those who try to deceive themselves that mourning is over.
               But it was another day driving on I-30, somewhere between cups of coffee, miles to go before I slept, and all that shit.
               Then I saw my father, her original husband, in the driver’s seat, looking as he always did: resolute on what was before him, the radio probably at a reasonable volume, hoping Mom would have nothing to say until they’d reached their destination when she’d be someone else’s problem.
               As the trailer got past, I thought about pulling even with them. I wrestled with the idea for a full minute before I stepped into action, so by the time I accelerated, I had to weave through a few cars to catch up.
               I began honking and waving, and at first Mom and Dad didn’t notice. I thought, here is where I wake up now or crash.
               Then Dad seemed to look up as if rolling his eyes and saying, What the hell is wrong with that kid? even though I’m pushing sixty. Then he turned his head and mouthed, “What?”
               Mom looked over at Dad, and then at me. Then her middle finger rose in front of her scowl at the same time I realized they were just another old couple stuck on the highway with an idiot. My foot came off the gas, but I didn’t brake.

Michael Neal Morris’ most recent books are Based on Imaginary Events, Release and Haiku, Etc. He is a regular contributor to the blogs Two Cents On and curator of This Blue Monk. He lives with his family just outside the Dallas area and teaches Composition and Creative Writing at Dallas College.
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