I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
by Mike Mayak
My older Brother and I were both on Spring Break in 2011. I was a Junior in High School and he was in Grad School. He was about ten years older than I was. Anyway we were driving around town and I was showing off my car, this beat-up old convertible where the top wouldn’t go down. We had a cassette player on the dash (no C. D. player) and I was playing the cassettes I’d bought cheap at the used store.
So, we were driving around singing along with the tape. “Deck The Halls,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and “Twelve Days of Christmas” when we pulled into a convenience store to grab a soda and maybe unload the sodas we’d been drinking in the men’s room. Anyway we walked around the corner and Bryan stops dead when he sees an old yellow Plymouth parked in front of the door.
“Oh, my gosh!” Bryan blurted out. “That looks like…” And he runs to the back of the car and gawks at the back bumper and starts laughing.
“This was my first car!” Bryan laughs. “I bought it when I was in my first year in college.”
That was why I didn’t remember a Plymouth. I’d never seen it.
“How can you be so sure?” I asked.
“Look here, Nate,” he said pointing at the back bumper. “That old bumper sticker I put on is still sort of there.”
I stared down at the bumper. The paper stuck to the bumper was green and blue with faded reddish lettering.
“Um…I brake for…” I read aloud. “Not sure…”
“I Brake for Not Sure sounds better,” Bryan said. “Wow!”
“How much time did you spend in the back seat with girls?” I asked.
“Not much!” Bryan said. “I had to study.”
I hadn’t told him yet that I would be more interested in making out with guys in the back seat but really hadn’t done it yet.
“It’s been a long time since I drove this thing,” Bryan said. “Maybe a lifetime.” He looked up from gazing at the Plymouth and gazed into the distance. Then he looked over at me and grinned.
“Always remember, Little ‘Bro. Enjoy it all when it’s happening.”
“I nodded and the two of us went into the store to get some useless junk food.