Mr. Beringer’s Van

by Sarah Beringer

My dad drives a 1999 VW camper van

He fixes it himself because they don’t make the parts anymore.

He likes to go out driving when my mom gets in one of her moods.

Sometimes he takes me with him.

We’ll drive through town and pull into Vinny’s.

He buys me double-stuffed Oreos so he can eat them

And I have some of his soda.

He only lets me have the first sip

And then he’ll pour in something else.

He also buys a pack of mint gum before we leave

And takes two sticks out,

Giving one to me.

But we save them in our pockets

For when we’re closer to home.

On the way back

We listen to Desperado by The Eagles

And he keeps restarting it

Until we can sing the lyrics all the way through.

He pretends to pass our road when we finally get there

Turning sharply at the last minute

I always sigh in relief because it makes him smile

He does this every time.

I wonder when he’ll just keep driving.