Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 32

On the other hand, those who had obeyed His Word would be secretly airlifted to a wondrous place in the clouds with streets paved with gold and

castles made of ivory.

For a six year-old who still wanted to believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and leprechauns, it was a no-brainer. I chose Jesus.

* * *

“How’d you hear about that church?” I asked as Dad veered us back onto the highway in his big hoopty.

He used to joke to his truck-driving buddies that it came out the same year as me, but that it cost a whole lot less.

I used to brag to Tommy Tucker that it came out the same year as me, and that its horn sounded just like the “Meep! Meep!” from the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons.

“A friend from the Marines brought me one night a while back.”

“From ‘Nam?”

“Yep.”

“Was he there tonight?”

“Nope. He’s a good guy, though. Maybe you’ll meet him next time.”

“Next time?”

“Of course.”

“Cool! I can’t wait to see another movie at church!”

“Yeah, that was pretty cool. But what about the rest?”

“I liked when the preacher helped that lady. Just like in that one where the two Fathers kicked the Devil out of that crazy girl.”

“Wait a minute. You saw that fuckin’ movie?”

I froze, sensing one of his tirades about Mom’s side of the family.

“Who let you watch that shit?!”

I stared at the to the silver and black letters stuck to the dashboard. As always, they spelled out the word “Plymouth,” with the Roadrunner leaned up against the “ h,” forever smirking.

“L.J.?”

“John Paul and Sandra,” I whispered, glancing over at him.

“I knew it!” he said and turned back to the road, shaking his head and squeezing the steering wheel like Sister Alice did her Bible.

I looked back at that skinny smart-aleck bird.

Dad let out a long, heavy sigh through his nose and ran his right hand through his wavy black hair.

We sat in silence until I got up the nerve to ask, “Did I do something wrong, Daddy?”

“No, mijo, It's just that you’re too young for...” he trailed off, his right hand suddenly pointing at different spots on the console the way it often did during our cross-town drives, quietly adding something up, something more.

Finally, he tapped the steering wheel with his index finger like he was putting a period on his string of thoughts, then looked over at me and said, “Well, maybe not.”

I shrugged my shoulders stupidly.“Mijo,” he said with all the meaning in the world, “do you know who Linda Carter is?”“You mean Wonder Woman?”

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