The metallic clock of the car door slamming shut is as wonderful a sound as the hallelujah chorus is for those sleepy church goers ready to exchange the hard pews of the chapel for the cushy vinyl benches for a diner. Church symbolizes the last moments of freedom for the tired workers, before they must go back to their everyday life and business. The hot leather of the steering wheel burns my palms as I get ready to leave. This is my final farewell to freedom, like church for those devoted few who go back week after week. This is my Sunday before the aching work week of Monday starts, my Sabbath before returning to the real world. My car growls to life and I’m ready. I speed pass the memories of my childhood. The elementary school where I smoked my first cigarette, the middle school where I had my first beer, the high school where I lost my virginity. I pass the church where the final piece of my innocence was taken, where the last rope keeping me from falling over the edge was snapped. The church is a brick building, shimmering behind a thick curtain of heat. The old welcome sign has yellowed over the years and instead of “Welcome Visitors” it now says “Wel om isit r “. I sigh to myself, yes welcome visitors and forget about everyone else. I rush out of the little town on its quite two lane main street. Before I know it, I’m hurtling down the twisted roads of the mountain. I can barely see out of the front window because of the glare of the sun. Ithe smooth white lines in the middle of the black sea of asphalt is my bouey as the roads flatten out and the rocky terrain become empty, identical fields. Green against blue for miles and miles. I turn off the main road and bump down the narrow dirt path. Dust forms clouds and I zoom down, blocking the harsh sun for a moment. In a second I reach the end. I turn off the moaning engine and am left in silence. The motor had been like a heart beat, in the background but keeping me alive. It kept me from the symphony of silence the now greets me. I get out and stretch my aching muscles, the sun warms my artificially cool skin. I walk towards the grave with the slightly wilted, store bought flowers in my hand. She would have picked her own flowers and then arrange them in such an obviously, beautiful way that mother nature would kick herself for not thinking of it first. I look at the dusty gravestone. Not much has changed since she died. It’s as if the world had stopped itself from turning now that she was gone. I look at the grassy mound. She is right there, right under me. How can she be so close but then so indescribably far away. Right here under all the dirt and glass the she is, but at this moment in time she has never been so far removed from everything. I lay the flowers down and go back to the car. When I turn it on I glance at the clock, 2:33. Ten minutes, That is how long I spent with her this time. It takes an hour to drive here and all I can do is spend ten minutes with the only person I had ever been able to talk to. The problem is, is when I get here I can’t think of anything to do, I have nothing to say to her, She left me, nothing has changed, but the world seems darker and yet more blinding, bigger, yet more empty. What am I supposed to do now? I drive past the fields and up the labyrinth of curving mountain roads, back towards my Monday and my real world.
February 14, 2010