Niles Reddick
Jackson, Tennessee, 2015

After I paid my co-pay and got my prescription refill, I navigated the Walgreens parking lot, like a bumper car ride at the fair.  Once I turned on the four lane, I felt excited to hear Hot Child in the City, a song by Nick Gilder from the seventies, on the oldies station. I sang softly, moved my shoulders back and forth, and flexed my cheeks in the seat. As usual, I yielded at the flashing light before turning and heading into our subdivision, a spread of thousands of look-alike houses with just enough variation to offer a hint of difference and fool prospective buyers they had a unique home.

I heard clapping in the backseat and glanced in the rear view mirror to see my pre-teen son and daughter gyrating around to the music and lip syncing lyrics. Like my own parents who switched subjects when I walked into their bedroom when they were engaged in a private conversation they didn’t want me to hear, I turned the knob to quieten the song and engaged them in topics with which they were interested: xbox games, school, and neighborhood friends. It worked, and they chattered away while I listened more intently about the hot child, a young teen I assumed, running wild and looking pretty in a city where boys wanted to take her home for sex. I hoped neither child remembered the song, remembered I sung and moved to it in the car, and most importantly, I hoped neither of them would run wild like the hot child.

As I pulled into the driveway, another seventies oldie came on the radio – You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate, and I pressed the knob to turn the radio completely off. I changed the memories of downing vodka laced drinks, dancing in a smoke-filled bar, and running wild out of consciousness and focused on book bags, homework, baths, and supper.


YouTube clip via You Can’t Download Vinyl

Niles Reddick is author of the novel Drifting too far from the Shore, a collection Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in over a hundred and fifty literary magazines all over the world including Drunk Monkeys, Spelk, The Arkansas Review: a Journal of Delta Studies, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Slice of Life, Faircloth Review, among many others. His new collection Reading the Coffee Grounds will debut in the northern spring 2018.