I’m sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car – a 1973 Chevy Malibu. It’s the hottest day of summer and the backs of my legs stick to the black vinyl seats while I try to avoid touching the sharp scratchy place where the upholstery is torn. No one had air conditioning back then, so we hang our heads out the window like dogs to catch the breeze. I smell coconut. It’s the suntan lotion on my skin, the syrup coating my shave ice. We beg to go faster up the hill, the hill with the giant bumps that make you feel like you’re flying. We giggle furiously, the wind blowing our hair.
Summer, present day
It’s the same place, the same hot weather, the same scene – but I’m the one driving the car. This time we drive past the ocean, watching the surfers, seeing the waves on the other side of the rocks. I smell coffee, and I hear giggling, but this time it’s not my sister, but my little boy. He sits in the back, saying “Faster, Mommy, faster!” as I turn up the hill and hit the gas with every bump. I wonder, what of this will he remember?