Joey Phoenix Media
Photographer • Videographer


Salem, MA Portrait and Event Photographer

Three Days in a Car with a Turtle

This is me. My name is Shelley. I am a turtle. Recently I was subjected to the most horrible of experiences. I was indelicately shoved into a small box and forced to spend three days in the back of a car. My owner had explained that all of this was going to happen to me. She even gave me fresh kale and strawberries, which normally would be cause for celebration. But it was a bribe. She was bribing me to behave. And behave I did, but don't worry, I'm plotting a way to get her back. Someday, when she's least expecting it.

I had been crawling around the floor at her boyfriend's house in Andover, Mass minding my own business, trying very hard not to get stepped on, when out of nowhere I get scooped up and placed inside a cardboard prison. They had left me a large opening at the top, but stretch, scratch, reach as I might it was no use. Frantically I attempted to make my escape; but before I knew it I was being jostled about, carried I assumed, to the car where I was unceremoniously wedged between a suitcase and a side table.

But at least I was in the sun, and the warm glow cascaded down to me and for a moment I found peace.

Before I could enjoy it, however, bump bump bump the car was moving and the two girls in the front seat were blaring strange music, slurping up some sort of caffeinated apostasy, and laughing about finally being on the road. From where I was, I saw no road, just trees and sky. Maybe this was for the best.

Connecticut! New York! New Jersey! They yelled. I drove my head into the corner of the box in order to block out the noise. Most people think that because they can't see my ears they must not work very well. Wrong. I can hear everything quite perfectly thank you.

Every so often we would stop. I was aware of this because the annoying rumbling of the wheels ceased for a moment. Then I heard my owner screeching, her breathing rate was accelerated, I could tell there was murder in her voice. I think it had something do with progress, that we weren't moving fast enough, that a three day road trip required strong momentum on the first day. The person she was talking to didn't seem very attentive. Then it hit me


I looked around for a strawberry to ease my stress, and before long the rumbling began anew.

After what seemed like ages we finally stopped in a very green place called Virginia. While my owner was going on about Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls, I just wanted to get out of the box and taste freedom. And, I got my wish, for the duration of the night I was allowed to roam the furthest reaches of cold wet tile in a bright space. The door was shut, but every so often someone would come in to where I was and drop their pants for some obscene reason that I couldn't figure out. And then they would leave, shutting the door behind them, and I would once again have refuge in my thoughts.

Day 2 began the way that Day 1 did. I was placed, a little more delicately this time, into my nook in the backseat. Off we sped, over rivers and mountains and valleys, the sun smiling down upon me, taking mercy on such a poor, pitiful creature. The people stopped in the middle of the day to go this weird place, I tried to catch the name of it - a famous Hamburger place that can easily be misconstrued as a naughty word. I don't see the appeal of hamburgers, but the people seemed excited about it. So who am I to judge?

After 800 miles of driving, and a roll over the blessed Ole Man River, the Mighty Mississippi, we finally cooled our heels in a little place that looked exactly like the place we had stayed at the night before. Except this time we were in Arkansas, in Little Rock. Little grimy hands kept poking at me inside my box, their little sticky fingers covered in cinnamon rolls. I did not appreciate this treatment, but I had no option but to endure it. There's something about tiny humans I just can't stand.

Another night on the bathroom floor was spent trying to block out the sounds of oafish humans snoring. Quite disgusting these beings. I like them better when they're awake.

Day 3, finally I could return to my heating lamp, my wonderful log, my water dish - Oh, how I missed the water, the euphoric feeling of immersing myself in the cool liquid.

But for 8 more hours I had to deal with the box. More than enough time to finalize my plot for revenge.

Vindication will soon be mine, dear humans. And what better place to do it then at our final destination, Austin Texas.