Thursday, 16 May 2013

Headlights pointed at the dawn

You wake up to an intolerable summer heat, a thin layer of sweat filming your skin like dried up glue. A dusty ceiling fan lazily spins overhead, threatening to break down any second now. You don’t know what day it is, but you know it’s July. It’s the pinnacle of summer and you’ve spent the last three weeks driving cross-country in your car with the beautiful girl sleeping beside you.

It’s been a blur of old towns, cheap motels, bland dinners and cold beers, but it’s the most fun you’ve had in possibly your whole life. How did it start again? You drove to the end of your city, and decided that you were bored and didn’t want to turn back yet. And now you’re here, one hundred miles away, sweating and dizzy from the heat, but unbelievably happy.

Today will be the same as every other day, but completely different in itself. You will lay in bed until she decides she’s slept enough- sometimes you wake up to her all dressed up, itching to get out of the motel and go on adventures. On other days, she lies in bed until 4PM and needs to be dragged out from under the sheets. Once you’re in the car, you drive north until you reach another town, a new one. And you look around to see if you like it, and if you do, you stay there. If you don’t, you keep on driving. 

You’ve been to too many sleepy towns through dusty roads. You want beaches and she wants forests, but you never seem to reach them no matter how far you drive. That’s how it’s been for the past 3 weeks, and that’s how it’ll be for the rest of the journey. But what does it matter? You don't need salt air or warm winds to prove that you're having the time of your life when you have a girl who's willing to run away with you to explore the country. There are no conversations quite like those in a car, there's no sex quite like that in a motel, and there's no love quite like one in the summer. And this is it, definitely, this is happiness, and you will feel it even until you reach the end of the country and have no choice but to turn around and go back home.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

You live by the train station.

You live by the train station, you told me in idle passing one gloomy afternoon. It was all I could think about as we sat on your bed, looking through photos of your childhood. The rumble of the mechanical snake that runs through the city shook your walls with each flip of the page, and obnoxiously bellowed out its arrival- disrupting your sad, reminiscent smile that asked for it all back.

I looked up in fear, half expecting aliens or bombs or rabid animals let loose throughout your house, but you must’ve grown so used to it, you didn’t even notice your bedroom trembling. As the glass bottles of sand rattled away among your travel collections of little volcanic elephants, you kept naming out each face in the old photographs, introducing me to people from your past, injecting short stories in between the pages. You were the eye of the storm- perfectly centered and oblivious to the chaos around you.

You’re all I can think of now, whenever I wait patiently in line for the train. I wonder if at that moment you are happily absorbed in your photographs of yesteryear, sprawled out on your bed, smiling sadly at all the faces that are no longer here. I wonder how I can time my departures, so you feel that it’s me bellowing past, making your walls shake, making your bedroom tremble. Do you think if you try hard enough, you could recognize me in the chaos?