172. Blister in the Sun

Here’s what I remember about us leaving Texas: a brutal sun sent light and heat through us like arrows and the black top of the parking lot almost audibly sizzled while we loaded up. My sneakers felt tacky on the bottom and made me do this little marching band step from one foot to the other. Everyone wore sunglasses. My sunburn itched; the top of my head was hot like the dashboard. Baked.

Colin jumped out of the back of the truck and his breath went whoooo out of him as he landed. He brushed his hands together in a little crash-cymbal motion, like they were dusty and it was time to go. No one spoke.

Bart put the brown paper bag of bottled water and road snacks into the back seat of the van. Even a white T-shirt felt hot. We stood in the burning sun as long as possible to avoid getting in the oven of the van. No one would meet my eyes, or was that the sunglasses creating that effect? Ziggy’s legs were golden brown under tight black bike shorts. I would wear nothing but jeans no matter how hot it was.

And then in the van, Christian cranked the AC, so that it blew hot soggy wind at us for several miles, until it got going. The seat was hot even through denim and Ziggy sat on his hands to keep from burning the backs of his legs. Closing my eyes behind my sunglasses, I wondered if anyone could tell they were closed.

That’s what I remember.

That and Christian saying “What’s the difference between an accordion and a trampoline.”

And Bart answering from shotgun, “People take their shoes off before they jump on a trampoline.”

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