The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Elizabeth is a figure skater from Western PA. A good deal of her life has been spent in an SUV going back and forth to practice. The SUV has witnessed her have nervous breakdowns, blow through at least 12 book series, be so happy she was crying, and watched her just plain old cry. The backseat of her car has watched her life fall apart, but it has also watched her put it back together.

A good 50% of my life has been spent in this car. It’s seen me at my worst, my best, and during my frequent states of stagnant indifference. The cushion of the backseat is stained with my tears and there’s an imprint of my elbow on the door armrest.

My head is on my hand right now as I stare out the open window. Fall is coming; I can smell it. The wind whips my hair around as mom and I drive down the Delaware highway. The hairband that held my dirty blond locks had slipped during practice, and strands fall in my face, blocking my vision and getting stuck on my tongue.

The bag with my skates sits on the floor by my naked feet. I can still make out the red marks where the skates were once tight on my ankles. I stretch my toes in different directions and feel relief at the freedom. There’s a black mark on my left pinky from when I had banged it earlier, and both my feet have blood blisters around the Achilles tendon.

The setting sun reflects off the rear-view mirror and creates an evening rainbow against the side of the car. It’s my favorite time of night. The multi-colored leaves are no match for the purple sky, and they turn shades of black against its hazy embrace. The clouds are a watercolor painting, and they float along the horizon like water drops on a window.

 I think I’m happy.

The clouds, the leaves and the sky blur together as the sun falls behind the trees. The highway expands in front of me, and as the road gets more uneven I know we have crossed through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. The wind is sharp against my skin as I realize how perfect the setting is. The groans of the cars that pass are a constant rhythm that gets stuck in my head. The road is endless and the sky is void, and I am happy.

I am happier than I was yesterday, and yesterday I had been happier than I was the day before. It’s all the insignificant things, like the clouds, that lift my spirits on the drive home. I spit the hair out of my mouth and don’t even mind when it strikes my cheeks. The blisters on my feet don’t bother me. All I feel is the wind. 

Elizabeth

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From Delaware to Pennsylvania

Elizabeth is a figure skater from Western PA. A good deal of her life has been spent in an SUV going back and forth to practice. The SUV has witnessed her have nervous breakdowns, blow through at least 12 book series, be so happy she was crying, and watched her just plain old cry. The backseat of her car has watched her life fall apart, but it has also watched her put it back together.

Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Anneliese Warnke on November 29, 2014
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