Sometime between 1970 and 1972, I think, my mom drove my sister and I to the nearest grocery store, a Marsh’s, in West Lafayette, Indiana. I think she was driving the family car, a 1967 Pontiac Tempest in flake sky blue. The top was up, and Mom left my sister and I in the car. The store was located on a slight rise above the parking lot, and Mom wheeled the car into the spot nose first, the car’s front angled up by the rise, facing the store’s front doors. She must have been intending to run in and pick up just one thing, because she decided to leave us in the car.

No sooner had she closed the driver-side door and started to cross in front of the car when the car began to roll backwards. My sister and I immediately began to yell in fear at the top of our lungs. Mom must have heard us because she ran top the car and got the door open in time to grab and set the parking brake.

I don’t know why, exactly, but that memory has been rattling around in my head for the past couple of weeks.

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