RivuletThe word challenge is “rivulets”. That word makes me think of my mom.
I’m not sure why she didn’t have the windshield wipers on. The rain was light. Mom said to watch the drops as they raced to the top of the window. I watched as the drops group together to form rivulets.
The air was chilly, I had a sweater on. The defroster motor was running on high. Mom could be easily overwhelmed with too many gadgets to run. There was a knob on the dashboard in the center of the speaker that I could twist. It wasn’t connected to anything, it was there to complete the symmetry of the dash.
We were driving moms 56 Chevy 4-door sedan. It was red and white with a red and white interior. The year was 1964, I was 4 years old.
The car was roomy and comfortable. It fit our family of 6 really well. On this day it was just me and my mom. There were no seats belts, no child carriers, what could possibly happen that the lightening speed of my mothers forearm could not stop?
That day we put this logic to the test we found that even moms forearm can fail. The car was suddenly just there- brake lights, big bright red, they seemed even larger when being scattered by the rain drops on the windshield.
My face hit the all steel dashboard hard. The blood scared me. My blood. It ran opposite the rain drops, in rivulets, down my face. It was hot and it was sticky and it smelled funny. It was coming out of my nose and my mouth. My face hurt, my teeth hurt. Mom stood me up on the seat so she could see me better and assess the damage. As I stood up I started to calm down, but then I saw the damaged little boy in the rear view mirror and realized that it was me and I started crying all over again. I don’t remember if we made contact with car that stopped us but still, a lot of people stopped to see if they could help. My mom was pretty and she could gather a crowd easily on her own but a distressed bloody, crying little boy just added to the attraction. I think my dad showed up. I remember being embarrassed to be such a mess, both the blood and the tears. He was calm and he was strong and reassuring.
There isn’t an ending to this tale. My teeth stayed in but the top front two turned grey. It was a relief to finally lose them to the tooth fairy in grade school.
As an epitaph, Even now when it rains, 50 plus years later, I pause before turning on my windshield wipers and watch the the drops turn into rivulets and race to the edges of my windshield and I think of my pretty mom and my strong dad and I smile, teeth intact and heart warmed.