Riding Shotgun

by William Eichler

Dad and I ride in his pickup, the shit seat in between —

small talk and pleasantries fill that space along with my

favorite pick of his music. He’s got good taste.

I’d like to think he’s where I got mine from. 

His fingers drum along on the steering wheel, and

his voice, a hint of it anyway, rises up between us. 

He can’t sing for shit, never could,

But his thumb drums aren’t bad. 

His phone goes off to the

tune of a fire call but he doesn’t have a thing

to do with that on his day off. 

My hands rest in my pockets.

Actually, '"rests" might not be the right word  —

they’re antsy as all hell. 

I’m not sure why. It’s like I need to tell him something,

but I’m not sure what. I’m not sure when the last time 

I told him something was. I guess I could just tell him 

how I’m doing. Things haven’t been great lately. 

The truck comes to a stop and backfires like a gun.