Window Vent

By Lynne Barrett

October 8, 2018

Window Vent

You take me for a ride in a sixties Oldsmobile. The radio doesn't work and you had to put additive in the gas, but once we're rolling along a back road I finger the silver latch, open the vent, and the wind still waits there, eager to lick our sweat and tangle our hair and make us squint. I open my mouth to catch the breath of August. When we were young we used our muscles to crank and steer; we were manual, not automatic. That’s how we loved each other, too, with awkward effort, sharing Chiclet sweetened saliva, the geometry problems of hooks and eyes and zippers, and then the shakiness after, the sweat and shyness, sitting in itchy clothes eating ice cream cones that dripped, licking our fingers. Now, at a hill’s crest, the engine hesitates, then surges, and you gun it with a grin, and we lean so the louvered air pummels us, the way it used to when we had no idea where we were going.

Comments (14) - Post a Comment
I love love love this piece. The detail and breathlesness of each sentence, I am cutting and pasting to read again and again.Thank you, Lynne Barrett!
Diane M. Parker at 8:23am EDT - October 8, 2018
These moments are gorgeous...thank you for this beautiful piece.
Tami Mohamed Brown at 10:07am EDT - October 8, 2018
As someone who has ridden with her husband in a '63 MGB, I get all of this. Such sweet, sexy, evocative choices of imagery. Thanks for the memories.
Paula at 10:48am EDT - October 8, 2018
Very, very nice. Those window vents!
Scott at 11:36am EDT - October 8, 2018
The story captures the vigor and free-spiritness of youth with amazing detail. The use of the sense of taste is especially vibrant: wind tasting sweat, Chiclet sweetened saliva, eating ice cream cones that dripped.
Don Rath at 11:45am EDT - October 8, 2018
‘Window Vent’ took me back to the 60’s with vivid memories of innocent years, youthful discoveries, remembered scents and physical relationships...classic time!
Susan Congdon Herrigel at 1:07pm EDT - October 8, 2018
Beautiful. I can feel the smooth metal of that silver latch between my fingers.
Steve Howell at 1:19pm EDT - October 8, 2018
Love this! Every word perfectly chosen.
Marsha McGregor at 3:52pm EDT - October 8, 2018
This is wonderful. No gimmicks, no twists. Just a tight, poetic portrait of two lives. Loved it.
José Sotolongo at 5:02pm EDT - October 8, 2018
Beautiful! Lynne Barrett has the most unique writer’s voice. The incredible description slows you down, while the emotional back and forth between now and then brings an urgency to her pieces. Thank you for sharing one of my favorite writers.
Annie Thomas at 9:18pm EDT - October 8, 2018
"The radio doesn't work and you had to put additive in the gas" took me right there. Love it!
MaryAnn Myers at 7:23am EDT - October 9, 2018
Manual, not automatic - You are so right! Thank you for crafting such a fun, beautiful piece. It takes me back to a long-ago country road.

Mary at 5:46pm EDT - October 9, 2018
The sweet nostalgia of this piece is exquisite and brings us back to a simpler time worth recapturing.
Elyse Pellman at 6:27pm EDT - October 9, 2018
An exhilarating reminder of what it feels like to be young, or even to reach back and let "young" happen again. Succinct and lovely.
Britton Minor at 2:38pm EDT - October 13, 2018

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