Driving Home From Work

The music stutters.

The CD that plays has been stuck in the car stereo for nearly two years. When I first inherited the automobile from my brother, I quickly made a mix CD of random songs to check whether the radio worked well. It worked fine, except that CD never again ejected. Which means that for the past two years I have been listening to the same 16 songs while driving. You bet I know every word to every one.

I figure that the CD has garnered some scratches from overuse, because the music skips and breaks briefly at certain points. But I don’t mind. It’s like having a personal DJ in my car.

A squirrel leaps from a bed of pine straw to bound across the road. Indecision. Flicking its tail back and forth. Tempting my hungry tires. But I swerve. Not because I am an animal-lover above flattening squirrels but because if I made impact with any such squirrels, I might rail off and crash. Maybe a truck could kill it, but my car can’t handle a joust from even a squirrel. Forbid I ever run over anything more formidable. Like a raccoon. Or a pine cone. I’m certain my front bumper could not take it.

These are the dangers of driving, yes, but only for me. I sail out at dawn to face morning-drunks driving home from their holes and also wild-eyed does who like to prance before cars and strike a girl-you-ain’t-bout-to-hit-me-boy pose. Regardless, it’s a dangerous world out there. Buckle up.


About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in Humor, personal, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Please say you were going through a Phil Collins phase and have been punished ever since.

    • Thankfully, no. There are some very annoying songs on there, though. Two I actually didn’t even like then but for some reason chose to put them on there. And there are still about three that I never get bored of even though I’ve listened to them thousands of times.

  2. It IS a dangerous world out there. I drive to work in the dark, besides the deer there are all manner of precious but road-ignorant animals and critters out there. Possum, deer, raccoons, and skunks (I live out in the woods). Buckle up is right!

  3. haha .. love the squirrels – funny. This was a hair raising experience.

  4. Most people get into accidents within 5 miles from their homes. I suggest you move… 😉

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