Weathered Dreams
Bev Vines-Haines
Driving a Lamborghini was number seven on Howdy Jordan’s bucket list.  Not owning one.  God, no.  He knew himself well enough to know some summer night he would inevitably put a Doobie Brother’s CD in the machine, crank it up to 180 MPH and pull a Thelma and Louise off an ocean cliff.  Some things a man just knows.  He could imagine in vivid detail the sensation of floating into the night, lyrics of Black Water embracing him until everything exploded in one orgasmic burst.

First on that bucket list was a summer in Parma, Italy, birthplace of the Lamborghini.  Maybe more than a summer.  A lifetime.  He suspected three months would fill all the Swiss-cheesy holes that had been erupting in his soul since birth. Almost everything he’d ever done had been a disappointment.  Take walking.  He remembered distinctly watching walkers from his crib, his playpen and his high chair.  He’d studied the moves, the swagger, the magic.  By the time he actually tried it at eighteen months he aced it.  Just stood up from the floor and walked to the kitchen.  His parents had exploded with praise.  But he looked down from this new height and felt huge disappointment wash over him.  It had been much the same with talking, running and heading off to school. Nothing lived up to the hype.  Nothing.

Eventually he made it through dating, college and his first marriage.  Even becoming a father had not lived up to his expectations.  Hence the bucket list.  He was 45 now, thrice divorced, retired after selling his company, a millionaire many times over and estranged from all five of his children. 

The list was reasonable for a man of his means:

Visit Parma, Italy.

Ride a bicycle through every street and revel in the lack of cars

Stomp grapes

Spend a solid week going to the Opera House every night

Make love to a ruddy cheeked Parmesan woman who speaks no English

Eat ham and cheese until he passed out

Drive a Lamborghini

Return to Cleveland

Die  

He went over the details a thousand times.  This lonesome drive was his swan song, his crescendo, his burst of fireworks at the end of a tedious spectacle of life.  It was the one thing that would not, could not disappoint.  No hot Cleveland night ever sizzled like a night in Parma.  No car ever roared to life in the way this Lamborghini would.  No part of this dream would disappoint.  Would it?   

Howdy slammed his notebook closed.  He was weak-willed.  He would never go. Just like his first steps, this drive, this trip, would leave a haunting ache where his hopes once lived.



First published: August 2016
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