I recently had an interesting three-hour ride tucked into the back seat of our truck. I was contorted around a buffalo skull, a deer skull, a giant rubber ball, and three enormous tubs of art supplies. “Where were you heading” you ask? To drop our daughter off at college, of course.
Canvas slid, horn points came dangerously close to poking out an eye, and as for line of sight, all I could see was the mirror image of my smiling daughter who was in the driver’s seat. Three packing adjustments later, (with all eyes upon us at a Dunkin Donuts parking lot) the ride became a modern take on the Beverly Hillbilly’s. Since her favorite game is where can I fit, I suggested she try and fit in the back seat with her buffalo skull and giant rubber ball; but she wasn’t having any of it. This was clearly her adventure and her parents were simply there as witnesses (and to make sure she was really accepted.)
Earlier in the week watching her pick and choose what to take and what to leave was interesting. It clearly reminded me of my writing process. Throw everything in at the beginning and start peeling away what you don’t need. More to start with means more to choose from. Jessy was limited to what would fit into and on our truck, as I am limited to a word count as well as reasonable expectations of what my readers will put up with.
Upon leaving the campus, I watched a man step out of his sedan, smooth his tangled hair, and stretch. His daughter popped out easily from the driver’s side, bringing wide eyes and a big smile to school. Looking closer, I recognized the poor creature in the back seat. Her face was barely discernable amongst the shapes and sizes of goods which make up the necessities of a freshman student starting out in 2011.
I gave her a fleeting smile wishing I could do it all over again.