My eyes were beginning to feel sore from reading on an iPad Mini with a non retina display. I was finishing a chapter of Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird when my phone began vibrating on my bedside table. I laid the iPad against my chest and turned my head in the direction of the buzzing. On the screen was the name of my brother, Klarke Braaten, and a goofy picture of him and his friend from high school.
I worry something tragic has happened when I receive unexpected phone calls from family and friends.
“Want to do me a favour?” he asks after I answer the call.
I ask him what it is. Chances are I could have agreed to but you never know what a favour may entail. What if he wanted me to drink toilet water? I wouldn’t want to do that for him.
“Give me a ride to school?”
He left a short while ago in his car like every morning so I couldn’t think of why else he would need a ride. His demeanour didn’t seem to indicate that he had just got in a car crash. I asked him what was up. He explains that he had taken his car in to get work done and was relying on the shop to provide him with a ride but there was no one available. I said I would meet him in 10 at a gas station across the street from where he was. I set my phone back down, placed the iPad beside me and rolled out of bed. I got dressed and was out the door.
Earlier I had received a text from my dad saying it was 8 degrees back home. Despite Saskatoon always being colder I was hoping it would feel similar here. The wind was chilly but bearable in my two jackets. I walked slowly to my car. I have to walk carefully because my Uggs provide little (no) grip but I wear them anyways because most days I can’t be bothered to put socks on.
I plugged my phone into the car stereo and put on Silversun Pickup’s sophomore album Swoon. I turned on my wipers, it was warm enough that the non-winter washer fluid wasn’t frozen. I decided I would take the slightly longer route as opposed to making an illegal left turn.
I recognized the man wearing the Kansas City Chiefs hoody standing at the corner of the intersection as my brother. I pulled into the gas station, put the car in park, turned the music down a tad, made sure the seat was all the way back and waited as he walked across the front of the vehicle and hopped in. It was a quiet drive.
He mentioned that a song that played was from a sports video game but he wasn’t sure which one. We use to be able to place most songs from EA games but now he plays too many and I don’t play enough of them to keep track.
We arrived at his school a short time later. He thanked me for the ride and I told him it wasn’t a problem. I turn the music back up as he closes the passenger door.
I spent most of the drive home contemplating picking up a cup of coffee but I decide I’d make my own.