None of Mom's cars ever worked for long, but she was able to drive home the Head Start van and at least two Friday nights a month, she would load the four of us into it and take us on a Mystery Ride. If we asked where we were going, she'd say, "Who knows? It's a mystery."
Suzanne, at thirteen, wearing hip-huggers and smoking Kools in her room, acted like she was too old for this game, but I think she secretly liked it as much as Jeb, Nicole, and I did, each of us sitting on our own seat, the windows open, the radio playing rock and roll, the warm air blowing in as we drove out of the South End and the abandoned buildings of downtown. Sometimes we'd get on the highway and go fast and leave it all behind. Or else Mom would stay on the back roads near the Merrimack, winding through groves of hardwood and pines where people with enough money lived in houses you could barely see from the road.
Townie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus III Copyright © 2011 by Andre Dubus III. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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