Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rest Stops

The same way the roads unite us, they pull you away from me. I head south, you head east- when we almost could cross paths again along Route 83 in Pennsylvania I move through the night slowly and you wake up to wonder where have you been and where I have gone.

On 95 heading north, you stop at a rest stop near Norfolk, it's dark but it feels like morning. A man is drinking coffee and reading a newspaper as he stretches his back from left to right, to left to right. His beard looks dirty, it's graying in spots so vividly that you can not decide if its the shade growing in or the shade being consumed. Watching him, time passes but the sun doesn't come up.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heal, Toe

Everything has never been this exciting and this terrible at the same time. My tongue is numb but so is my head and the empty hollowness echoes while I try to sleep keeping me awake until dawn. I drift off only to wake up groggy in cold sweats, clutching pillows as if they were life vests- as if feathers and cotton could save my life the way the perfect shade of Perfectly Pink has saved so many first dates.

Distraction is the best medicine for a shattered soul. I tell her that staying busy is the only option. Elaina counters that rest will keep me alive. That my body is literally crying for it. I tell her to grab a brush, I’m painting my room, I’m pulling up carpeting and paining over old picture frames. Boy Meets World is playing in the back ground and it’s the season Topanga and Corey break up, he's saying true love conquers all. I’m slopping paint against walls as tears drip into the bucket.

A heaviness has taken over that I can not shake. From across the room Elaina is telling me that my expression gives me away immediately. My face is so drawn she has to stop herself from coming over and hugging me to make sure I am warm.

I run along East Avenue in the evenings, making a left on Goodman and I head towards Monroe Avenue and jog past the Park Bench, past Church Street Pub, the wind whips against my thighs and it stings. My heart is pumping against my chest and I'm still alive. I can feel the life in my bones.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

642 Miles Later

It’s not July but the road is familiar and the air is warm. I find myself with the windows down, counting mile markers along route 15 and thinking about the winters that have past and the winters that are waiting for me. I am wondering about the people in Massena and if they are happy and if I will ever be happy in the simple way I saw them that day.

At mile 200 my breathing has caught up with my heart beat and I have a faint curiosity about if you’ve woken up yet and who you are next to. I still see you sitting across from me retelling a rehearsed story, as honest as I'd accept you to be but still completely exposed.
I once said, “I want to know you in a way I would never let you know me.”  As true as my words were then, they are more so true as I cross state lines and it begins to snow. The silence of snow brings about a foreign calmness that I have not felt since I stood on the steps of Adams Street in a sea of black and white and pink.  

I listen to talk radio and pretend I am in the studio, driving past small towns, I am being interviewed and hear myself telling strangers through the airwaves “I thought he had actually killed me, but I just kept driving”.

The End
It was cold for the middle of October and I didn’t wear a coat. I had forgotten how unforgiving the wind can be when you live by the water. You tried to fix everything before you left; the sign on top of the window that I couldn’t reach, the parking lot that wasn’t big enough for my car, the leaky faucet in my bathroom that flooded my tub. You suggested two cheap, but decent, bottles of wine that I will never drink.
I called to tell you thank you and I know this voice-mail will be listened but I also know  you will never hear me. Thank you for the color yellow, wind in my hair & blueberry wheat beer and for reminding me I truly am flawed if not free. I’m sorry all you learned was how to make a decent mimosa and that wet leaves are just as dangerous as black ice.