Have directions, will travel.

My parents owned a Volkswagen Beetle back in 1972. My father, usually wordless, drove. My mother, always riding shotgun, dealt with me whispering lyrics to my favorite songs into her left ear as I stood, leaning in from the backseat. At three-years-old, "Sunshine on My Shoulders" made me happy. Parents despite their unconditional love for their children can take only so much of such abuse. So, one afternoon my father pulled the car over to the brim of the road, and both turned to face me. Looking at them with their heads framed between the pleather seats , I realized, "Man, I loved these folks so much! The beginning and end of my little world. Joy like that puts a song in your heart. But, before I could start, my mother cracked, "Honey, we're gonna let you out of the car here... and you can walk the rest of the way home, okay?" "Mmmm-hmmm," I replied. My father nodded. She continued, "When you get out here, you wanna head three blocks straight ahead... and, then, turn right and go about two more, okay?" "Mmmm-hmmm, " I replied. She popped the door open, hunched over the dash as I squeezed out onto the street. "Okay, we'll see you at home," she waved. My father nodded again, a shiv smile sliced his lower face open. I waved back, and headed off. They watched my little silhouette diminish into the sunset for a few moments. Maybe, they laughed their asses off. Or maybe, they sat silently, wondering why their three-year-old would just abandon ship like that. My heels hadn't kicked up much dust before 'Mommy' & 'Dad' edged up beside me and told me to hop-in. I did... and promptly broke into a sultry, smoky version of "Delta Dawn". That event marks the day I became a conscientious walker. I'll blow through a pair of Campus faster than most... with pride.

 

- Melissa Sullivan