Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I lay before you.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
As I entered the desert I welcomed the sun. It had been so long since I felt the dry warmth beating upon my skin. I stuck my arm out of the u-haul window and let the wind pull it up and down as I glanced to my left at my mother. She was happier than I could have ever been. She laughed as she flashed me her model Colgate smile. I smiled back and my heart began to race. We were coming home. Only fifty miles to go.
Last year had been so hard. The loneliness had taken its toll. The last small town we had lived in had produced no friends or even acquaintances. After school each day, I sat alone on the bus and walked home alone to our house. I quite frequently cried myself to sleep at night and awoke from dreams in the silence and discontent of my life. It was no wonder to me why Missouri was referred to as the state of misery. It certainly was mine. When my mom had finally had enough of Midwestern life, or lack there of in my case, she decided to move us back to Arizona. Even though I was sick of moving around from town to town, I was relieved to be going back to the one place I considered home.
“Janie, I’m quitting my job.” Was all that my mother had said.
“Oh?” I questioned.
“Its high time we headed back west, I cannot stand small town life.” My mother said dramatically.
That was my mother, drama queen to a “T.” When life became too much to handle she fled. I mean that quite literally. When love faded, so did we. In her wake of perpetual good-byes she left friends, colleagues, lovers and bills. In some instances she left family, but only if the offense had been so severe to deserve that type of punishment. I liken it to the life of a gypsy. Roaming from town to town consuming all of the resources she could then packing up the car and heading out before consequences were to be paid. However, since this was the only life I knew, it did not seem odd to me to again be moving to Arizona.
“Well, I cannot deny I will be happy to leave this place.” I admitted.
And then we were off. As soon as school had ended, we packed up our things and hit the road. The trip was not special. I had seen the same mountains a dozen times. It seemed nothing had changed. The sun and the clouds still hung in their same positions. Even the sunset remained the same. The purple erupting from the heavens as the orange and yellows peaked through. To a tourist or newcomer it would have been an opportunity for taking pictures or staring at the sky. For me, it was a sign of comfort. A map without streets.
When we reached the outskirts of Tucson, we stopped at a truck stop for dinner. A sort of tradition in our family. Each time we would return to Arizona we stopped here for their deep dish apple pie. It was not a request…but a demand. I never understood why she needed to do this, but I wasn’t going to argue with apple pie. Fifteen years later I still don’t argue with apple pie. I was anxious to finish my plate and run to the nearest phone to call Shea and Sloane, my best friends since about the third grade. They also happened to be twin sisters. My mother, apparently sensing my need for teenage human contact passed me a quarter and simply said “Go.”
I almost took out three waitresses and two patrons as I ran, no, sprinted to the nearest pay phone in the restaurant. I dialed the number I had memorized so long ago and waited…
“Shea?” I asked out of breath.
“Janie?, hey how are you?” she asked.
“Shea, I’m so good, I’m here in Tucson, we’re back” I rambled.
“Oh my god! When can your mom drop you off?”
“I don’t know, we’re supposed to go to some motel after we get done with dinner. I don’t know how long that will take, but I’ll call you as soon as I know.”
“Well get off the phone and hurry the hell up! Sloane and I are going to a slumber party tomorrow night, and you’re so coming!!” She commanded.
“Fine, I’ll be there, who’s having the party anyway?” I asked.
“Rachael Miller, she was in our fourth grade class remember?”
“Not really, that was like seven years and ten schools ago.” I replied.
“Ha Ha, you’ll remember her when you see her I promise. Now get here as soon
as you can.”
“ I will, tell Sloane I can’t wait to see her! And you too!”
“I will and me too! Bye” she said
I walked back to the table and as I approached I could see my mom was no longer sitting there. As that was no cause for alarm, I turned around the room looking for the striking blonde that was missing from my table. As my eyes found their way to the bar, I found my mom. She was perched on a barstool with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Laughing and smiling as she conversed with her new favorite stranger. I rolled my eyes and slowly approached the bar. Wanting to leave, but not wanting to hear the same conversation I had heard in every truck stop from here to Texas. To my misfortune I had not walked slow enough.
“Being on the road must make you very lonely Mr. Fraiser,” Cooed my mother.
I swear she had even batted her eyes at him. “Oh god” I thought to myself.
“Mother, are you ready to leave yet?” I asked, hoping to break her hold on this poor defenseless man.
“Oh, Janie baby, you’re back so soon, let me introduce you to Mike Fraiser.” She glared at me.
I was obviously interrupting her game of stalking prey.
“Uh, nice to meet you, but we were just leaving” I tried to say politely.
“Janie, why don’t you want for me in the truck, I’ll only be a few more minutes” still glaring at me.
“No, I think I’ll wait here, really” I glared back.
“Janie” that tone, that awful tone, the “I’m trying really hard to be a mother” tone.
“Fine” I gave in.
I walked out of the restaurant and out into the parking lot. Mad at myself for giving into her again and even more mad that I hadn’t gotten my drivers license before we left Missouri. I swore that one day I was going to leave her and never look back. Never call, never write, just drive away and forget her face. I opened the u-haul door and grabbed a pack of cigarettes out of the glove box. As I lit the cigarette I thought about all the things I had seen in my short life. All the places I had been, and all of the men. I closed my eyes and repeated to myself “Two more years, 730 days and I’m gone.”
Sunday, January 17, 2010
When I awoke it was another reality.