Image by moominsean via FlickrI mustered up enough energy to leave home—though it wasn’t home anymore, just some place with walls and lights and a dirty toilet; not home because I didn’t feel right there anymore. With my ass leaning against my car's own hindquarter, I turned away from the wind, listened to the audible flow of the gas pump fueling my car, we’ve been together a long time and on many trips like this one, haven’t we car? Other cars passed on the nearby highway; all of them with someplace to go, unlike me, but it didn’t matter anymore. The only place I needed to go was away, and I didn’t need a map for that.
The nozzle clicked, full tank. Do I want a receipt? No, I didn’t want a reminder of this place. The engine turned over, first try, my reliable Honda, “Just you ‘n me, kid,” I said. The “kid” moniker had been done a thousand times in innumerable movies, but in this mental state, where creativity had not even smoke left from a rash-act of being extinguished, “kid” would do just fine. There were no passengers on this trip, unless I was going to consider a bottle of water and a box of Cheez-Its as passengers, neither of which would be around to recount the journey by the time it was through. Hell, I hadn’t even gone home to grab clothes, these on my back would have to do just fine, thank-you-very-much. Before every trip, an ex-girlfriend used to ask if I had the keys, my wallet, and her, because I could replace anything else that had been forgotten. Good advice.
Which way? I thought, and in response I answered, someplace I’ve never been. But, I sat there at the intersection of the divided highway and the gas station exit—at the point between who I used to be and who I wanted to be—unable to make a simple decision between left or right. In high school, long before cell phones were an extension of our bodies, we’d flip a coin in a situation like this. I’d been both directions before, so the question was a matter of distance, not direction. Which choice would take me away more quickly?
Though the highway had been busy just minutes prior, it was now empty in both directions. There would be no reactive, indeterminate decision-making based on what the traffic presented to me. However, a honk from behind prompted action, and in my reaction I chose to turn right. With an empty road in front and no desire to look into the rearview mirror, I laid my weight on the gas pedal, worked my way through the gears, and felt bad memories peel away. There was rust, and I’d have to address that when I felt I’d gotten far enough away, but for now, the wind rustling the leaves in my tree of experience felt good—damn good.
This is the road.
[I haven't been much for proofreading lately. Apology for errors, but feel free to comment on them and I will correct... also, feel free to tell me about your road!]