Piece of Mind

What puts you at ease?

For me, it’s Van Morrison.

It’s tapping my foot to the beat of Brown-Eyed Girl as daddy drums the steering wheel of his old-school Beamer, barreling northbound on El Camino Real.

This is my song.

The warm breeze wrestles whispy strands of hair, obstructing my big brown eyes from sight.  A smile creeps across my face as I smooth the wrinkles from my khaki skort, all the while clicking my white Sketchers against the floor.

Of course, we are headed to Olympic Driving Range, where we will proceed to hit a couple hundred golf balls before dusk invades the blue summer sky.

I stand corrected.  Rather,  I will hit a couple hundred golf balls.  Dad will not hit one.  He will, however, grab that damn seven-iron and swing it about fifty-five times, standing behind me, observing.

At some point, Dad will lean in and yank the bill of my black Cobra hat, stating, as if, for the first time,

“Em, you hit the guy in the cart picking up range balls, I’ll take you for a slurpee on the way home.”

I giggle, well-aware that regardless of whether I manage to make my target: that slurpee is mine.

Daylight is now rapidly escaping us, and my hands are growing raw.  Dad proclaims that I must end the night with a good shot.  A few attempts go awry before I succeed.

At last, I turn to daddy and shrug my shoulders.  He says nothing, but smiles, and motions me toward the parking lot.

Here we are, again, cruising.  I clutch my Coca-Cola flavored slurpee tightly between my tiny, tired hands, inevitably suffering a brain freeze.  My eyes begin to grow heavy as the sounds of sweet rock ‘n roll lull me to sleep, sinking deeper into the seat with each breath.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more at peace, as in this moment.

In an effort to make sense of it all, these wise words are all that come to mind,

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be” (Lincoln).

I’ll take it.

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