By Heidi Glynn
I punched out the letters “I’m not doing so well” and hit send. Thirty seconds later a message appeared on my screen reading my 5 favorite words: “Wanna go for a drive?”
Eight sneakered feet crunched over the grey rocks in between the the tracks. I balanced on the rail- a tight rope walker high above the crowds. The rocks quickly dissipated, exposing the thirty-foot space between my being and the shallow water below. I stopped and spit down a crack, my stomach fell with my saliva and splatted on a large and rather jagged rock. Should I walk tentatively by putting one shoe forward on the next board, then the second shoe forward to meet the first, or should I use only one foot on each board, striding quickly and deliberately? My inner dialogue was broken from a laugh in the distance. I put my head down and chose the latter so I could keep up with my friendly new peers. My eyes were non moving, non blinking from moving blocks of mossy wood under my ankles.
The familiar black car with Maus Haus blaring pulled into my driveway. I plopped into the passenger’s seat and looked at the swaying Chinese ornament on the rear view mirror, my vision starting to blur, making it into a little red blob. Relief washed over me as I melted into the seat and my face released liquid emotion.
“Let’s go to The Road.”
The unfamiliar black car with loud music slowly drove into my driveway. I sat in the passenger’s seat and looked at the swaying dangly thing on the rear view mirror. I focused my attention outside the window and at the shifting metal and brick landscape as he pulled onto the road and drove. Light and awkward conversation filled the space. But he was in tune with the atmosphere of his car, and rolled down the windows to relieve the pressure, and rolled them back up when it became too windy.
I bit into a mac n’ cheese with bacon pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.
We plummeted down the tunnel of trees. The headlights shone just far enough, quickly burning away the darkness engulfing us. Wetness grew on my cheeks as I choked out my worries, my adversity that had been building up since the last Talk. The Road never “ends”. You would think it would be a scary thing, and it was at first, with the hesitance of entering the dark, towering walls of black and brown and green– but the false forever of it becomes comforting.
I bit into a gyro pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.
Dirty fingernails incessantly scratched the growing red bumps of annoyance- but they stop itching when you’re in the air, when the luminescence from the moon before you and from the giant Kia Soul behind you and from the cultivating conversation within you makes you feel brighter and more awake than ever. The world became so small, cars little below my swinging feet, and so did my problems. I stopped looking below, at the long grass and buildings and concrete, everything I’m so familiar with, and started looking up. The dark sky was open, untainted, exciting. Why didn’t I look up more often? Our concepts and theories and dreams that we so often hid from our peers, and even ourselves, were being thrown out into the atmosphere, then they penetrated the other like the moonlight on their skull. Oh my god. Oh my GOD! You’re so right!
I bit into a some sort of spicy tofu pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.
“I was thinking… and I realized you are my best friend.”
“You’re definitely mine too.”