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Archive for June, 2009

The Noisy Road Home


pic by sume

The road to the house was long, dark and noisy.  Very little was visible except for the dusty tunnel of illumination created by the headlights.  I could see the scattered lights of nearby houses but they seemed dim and insignificant.  What stood out to me most was the noise.  Even at thirty miles per hour, the crunching of the tires against the rock road was so loud, I could barely hear K on the phone.  I wanted to describe the scene to him, but all I remember saying was, “Oh my god.  When does it end?”

We’d arrived late after overshooting our destination and ending up near Fort Worth.  I felt ragged but wired after the long drive from NC.  I was excited to see everyone, but couldn’t push away feelings of arriving as the guest, the near stranger, the intruder.  This was their home, not mine.  Almost ten years had passed since the last time I’d seen my dad and his new family.  So much had changed while I’d been away.  I’d changed and changed again.

I’d traveled this road many times before as an 18 year-old.  Dad had bought land in the area not long after we’d moved back to Texas from Nebraska.  When time allowed, I’d come out to help build the barn or whatever project he had going on at the time.  I moved to Irving before he built the house and only visited three or four times after leaving Texas to live in Florida.  I’d missed almost all of my new siblings’ adolescent years.  New sister #1 had magically turned 18.  New Twin Brother and Sister were 15.

A few years ago, Dad sold the land and the house they’d built in favor of building a new house on the neighboring property.  I didn’t really have much of a history with the old place and none with the new one.  It would be my first time to see the new place with my own eyes.  Time had gotten away from me.   The years had flown by so quickly but thinking about all that had changed drove home just how much time had passed.  I was going home, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more lost and disoriented.  Displaced again.

As we continued down the road, my dad in his car leading the way, me in the middle and my friend following in the moving truck, the grinding seem to get louder.  Somehow it added meaning to the moment.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe because I felt that as I traveled further down that road, my chances of going back were slowly being ground away.  And I wanted to go back.  It was as if I were being escorted to a prison cell after so many years of being on the run.  I’d escaped this place only to be brought back blindfolded with my hands tied.

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Night people

We talked about the monsters within.  I don’t remember at what point or why we switched topics from what a relief the cool, evening breeze was after such a brutally hot day to our inner demons.  The time just before the sun disappears has become my favorite part of the day here in Texas.  I’d forgotten how hot it gets here.

When the sun starts to set, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s morning or evening.  For a moment, time seems to stand still.  The difference between the two being as the sun rises, my day is ending.  As it sets, I’m at my most active.  Josh and I are night people, you see.  We work (and play) at night and sleep during the day.

It was the only night off we had together, a night for monsters to come out and play.  It helps to let them out once in a while or else they get restless and try to escape.  The really nasty ones will even try to take over if they’re pent up too long.  Needless to say, it’s safer to let them out at night, when most of the population is indoors.  That way there are fewer witnesses to see just how strange night people can be.

I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that night people are a bit off just for being night people.  You have to be to work the night shift especially if you prefer it – which I do.  Though there does seem to be two kinds of night people.  There are those who are by circumstance and become odd as a result of adaptation and those who were already weird and desire the graveyard shift because of their nocturnal natures.

Josh seems to be of the latter group as well which is probably one of the reasons we get along so well.  The funny thing about Josh is that some would say he’s more scary during the day than he is a night.  I’ve often thought to ask him if that’s why he prefers the dark of night, but felt it might offend him.  Luckily, he’s not too easily offended or perhaps he just keeps it inside until it’s safe – like the night we decided to introduce our demons to one another.

I tease him when I can get away with it.  Such a big, ugly beast with hair that eats people. I know what others see, but I see something else.  He teases me, too.  The beautiful girl made of tiny. But I don’t feel beautiful.  I see myself the way others see him.

“If I were beautiful,” I once told him, “People would love me.  I’d be rich and happy.  Not here, working my ass off on some night shift job.  There must be something terribly wrong with me.”

He looked empathetic and sad for moment.  I saw recognition in the deepening blue of his eyes.  Demon meet Demon. Then he smiled, “…or with everyone else.”

And then I let the tears come.  It was night and only he would see.

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Coming up for air

It’s been a long time since I’ve considered trying to write.  There’s too much to digest and the day leaves little energy to do much more than crawl into bed.  After working nights and taking care of the kids and everything else during the day, my body runs out of energy hours before my brain.  The result is me lying in bed with my mind racing minutes before I fall asleep – chaos before oblivion.

I’m trying to sort it all out, still trying to make sense of it all but am beginning to wonder if there is such a thing as “sense” to any of it.  The move itself defies common sense.  The resulting changes make even less sense.  The same is true for the things that didn’t change.

I know I’m being vague, but hey, it’s been ages since my last blog post.  I’m out of practice.  Taking things in small doses and writing in even smaller doses is the order of the rest of the year, I think.

Overall, we’re all okay so far. It has been a difficult adjustment, but some remarkable things have happened.  Again, I send out huge balloons of love and thanks to all those who helped to get us here.

More later…

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