TITLE: I Know I'm Alive
GENRE: YA - Contemporary, Realistic
Philadelphia is approximately six hundred miles behind me. It still feels too close.
As we drive past rest stops and gas stations and too many fast food restaurants, I note the mile markers and look at the sky for dark clouds, even though I know there’s not much of a chance for rain. I’m pulling out my phone and checking my weather app every few minutes. It’s become a habit of mine. If Dad notices this, he doesn’t say anything. But he’s driving and his focus is on the road. The U-Haul truck he rented has gotten us this far without any problems despite my constant worry we will break down.
Dad’s listening to a podcast of This American Life and I’m pretending to listen. I pretend a lot of things these days. This particular episode is all about extraordinary coincidences. Dad says “Wow” every few minutes and I nod like I’m sharing in the “Wow”. If I don’t nod or look like I’m listening, Dad will glance over at me with concern. I can’t handle that look of concern. Take that look elsewhere, man. Just keep it away from me.
So I nod. Sometimes I even smile or chuckle. I stop just short of actual commentary.
The highway traffic picks up the closer we get to the city. The Chicago skyline is now in view. Most of the cars are leaving the city, but we still encounter plenty of drivers eager to get to wherever.