Seven and a half miles
by, 05-30-2012 at 09:27 AM (1035 Views)
It's choppy, it's incorrect and it's exactly what I wanted. A little slice of my temporary insanity from last fall.
Seven and a half miles. That’s how long it took me to figure out I hadn’t done it right. I sat all night, wondering, yet laughing through everything happening. The dumb jokes, guest stories, co-worker whining and I still managed to get through it without asking a single question. We’d gone to the Potbelly and I waited. I resisted asking the whole drive back to the ranch. A few phone calls had been made, some of the news relayed, and still I wondered. I wondered all night. I made a few assumptions around twelve thirty, and after a somewhat graceful exit kicked myself on the entire walk out. I stole a few longing glances back, my mind conjuring up an image that stuck in my head for seven and a half miles. That eleven minutes worth of internal berating and almost fretful self-destruction brought about the need for some sort of redemption. Anything would work. I couldn’t drive the whole damn way to leave without seeing the person I’d come to see. I would not.
Wild scenarios began running amok in my head. I punched the ceiling, as was standard procedure in times of emotional strain. I couldn’t stand it- that image in my head of her laying there sleeping soundly, adorable and innocent as adorable and innocent can be. I had to see her. I locked the brakes and that was that. On my way back without a story to justify it. I patted my pockets down. My wallet. The excuse I needed. Shoved down between the seats to make it look like a simple mistake. Patting my pockets again to make the situation seem real, I had it. The perfect excuse for my return to Eden.
I parked in the turn off to the dump. I didn’t want to drive past the house again- it would look bad. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t want anyone to question my return. So I walked. It was a mostly full moon. Maybe not, but there was more than enough light to see my way pretty well. So I walked, contemplating being mauled by a bear, or maybe some other heroic thing that would make me seem . . . well, heroic.
I searched the ground, still trying to convince myself of my ruse. All the lights were off, save for the ones on the lodge porch. I glanced in her direction, wondering if she was up, still trying to justify waking her. Multiple possibilities passed across my brain’s window. None were seriously plausible. So I stood in the middle of the road, sweating in the forty degree cool, still making sense of the plan that had seemed so flawless ten minutes ago.
Panicking now, the moon burned me as I tried to work out the details. I couldn’t think straight in such a daze. The few drinks I’d had weren’t working- I needed another. I needed more. Forcing function without medicine is pushing the boundaries of disaster.
I gave up. I couldn’t very well just stand there all night. I had to work in five hours, I had a two hour drive home, and deep in my heart I knew I should just resign to failure. It was how I worked. Failure kept me on track.
**** the road. There was no way in hell I’d walk it again, rubbing in the scheme I’d developed to see her tonight. So the moon kept me company as I stumbled through the tall grass. Still burning, I took off my shirt to cool down, all the while the moon consoling me in my resignation.
Down through the irrigation ditches and up the hill, guided by my own melancholic indifference, my now muddied boots slipping and sliding about. Gaze lowered in shame my unusually short strides took me through the fence, slipping and sliced my leg on the barbwire.
Headlights shown down the driveway. Hastily re-applying my shirt, I just got it buttoned up as the Buick stopped. Aaron stuck his head out the window.
“Skinny, what the hell are you doing?”
A mush of verbs and nouns strung out on my tongue. And behind Aaron came the call that made my heart stop.
“Skinny! You’re here!”
“Get in. We’ll go find your wallet.”
Clambering in the back seat with not a care in the world I felt her arms wrap around me and her head rest on my shoulder with “I missed you,” whispered into my ear. Even with the big mess I’d created inside, the order that came made the moon blush in apology.