Tuesday, August 31, 2010

E. L. Doctorow once said that, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Quoted in Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Write about driving at night. What did you see and why were you on that road?

The city lights were so bright that I forgot to turn on my headlights. It wasn’t until I exited the Eisenhower that I realized I had been driving in the dark for fifteen miles. As I made my way through the suburban streets to my childhood home, I remembered how my mother frequently left her lights on in our Monte Carlo when we went to the grocery store at night. The parking lot was lit as bright as a sunny afternoon with rows of lights that could guide a plane to a safe landing. We would go in the big box store, shop for an hour, and return to a dead battery. Carting our frozen food back into the store, we humbly asked the manager to use the phone. My father drove over in five minutes, jumped us, and complained to my mother about leaving the lights on. I never knew which one to ride home with.


  1. What's with this glare? I used to see just fine driving at night-now it's all a challenge. Glaring lights in the side and rear view mirrors,
    shiny road signs, rain drops that explode into
    more light. Then a sigh of relief, when I see my driveway, after a must go out trip for ice cream!

  2. I love the ending. We've all wondered how to pick between our parents when they are in a disagreement.