First Date by Courtney Birst
Women can’t drive my car, he said, adjusting his mirrored sunglasses. Because it’s stick? I asked. Because they don’t know how to drive fast, he said. My mind flashing a warning like flares after an accident. In his lenses I saw my reflection and the two roads before me — the girl who could giggle and ignore it or the girl who refused to be your assumption. I held my hand out. Give me the keys. I gunned the engine, left tire tracks on the pavement, looping like an autograph. He watched the needle of the speedometer pulse — a thin red knife, thin as the stretched smile he’d given me when we first met. I laughed and pushed harder, foot pressing down on pedal, pressing down on the bullshit line he’d given me, pressing down on every bullshit line every man had ever given me. I hit triple digits — I’d never driven this fast before. I pulled back into his lot and popped the brake, returning him to the place he’d crawled out from under. I tossed him the keys and walked away, left him standing in the parking lot. I reapplied my lipstick, didn’t bother to watch him grow small in the rearview mirror as I drove away.
Courtney Birst believes wine, coffee, and poetry are key ingredients in life, though she’s always tinkering with the recipe. Her poetry is published or is forthcoming in Connections, Welter, Plum Biscuit, Pudding Magazine, and NoVa Bards Anthology. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wordperv, or find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/author.CourtneyBirst.