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.