We drove all night and into the next morning, the two of us, stopping only for gas, coffee, and a truck stop breakfast at 4am. You did most of the driving. You kept insisting that I was a better at navigating the mixtapes and radio station selection. No one knew we had left. When the realized I’m sure they’d expect to never see us again. We had a wrinkled map that had come with the car when you bought it used. We spread it out across our bed. The one back in the apartment we left. “Pick anywhere, and we’ll go,” you’d said.
“I remember that time you told me,
you said, “Love is touching souls?”
Surely you touched mine.
‘Cause part of you,
pours out of me,
in these lines from time to time.”
“A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell
from the album, Blue (1971)
Song Of The Day – September 29, 2011
We were nearing the end for us. We both felt it. But, neither of us were ready yet to let go. So, I closed my eyes and spun around three times, then placed my finger on a spot. We packed two bags, threw them in the backseat of your car, and left town.
We only drove through the night once. At the start. I think we wanted to put as much space as we could between where we’d come from. Quickly. We slowed down by day three. Stopping at a few roadside attractions along the way. In the middle of the night on day five we made our own roadside attraction. Together.
I still miss the way your hair was soft at the base of your neck, how the inside of each of your wrists smelled of clove cigarettes and a cologne that my grandfather had worn. I miss the way you would sing all the lyrics wrong to every song, only sometimes on purpose.
There’s a list of things I don’t miss. Ever. But those things don’t matter much anymore. The good and the bad between us left indelible marks on my soul. Memories that have lasted longer than the postcards and plastic snow globe souvenirs we brought back with us.
Yes, we eventually went back.
Time ticks by and I struggle to remember your middle name, or the way your breath would change when you first fell asleep. But I remember that car, the way your lips felt hot on my skin, and the contents of every mixtape we ever played for each other.
I wonder, what do you remember?