Keep Art Alive :: Photography by Reba Doo
“‘Kathy, I’m lost,’ I said,
though I knew she was sleeping
I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.”
Every time the roof caved in on our next best bad decision we would fold open the well-worn map, the one we had picked up the first time we picked up to leave, and talk about where to go next. Every new city, every new winding road, seemed to promise the alluring new start, a seductive second chance (or third, or fourth) that we could never resist. We were insatiable travelers, both of us well-versed in change, and carrying the genetic diseased gene of a gypsy soul. Never once did we pause to realize that our boxes and bags went along for the ride, and that we chased after new chances whilst our broken pieced selves shadowed our every move.
Sometimes I would whisper that we were lost, but lost was a secret shared bliss to us both. He would grab my hand and say the world is ours, we are ours, and if we don’t go now we will never survive.
I loved him enough to blind myself, binding my arms and my eyes, to all his bleeding misdirection. He loved me enough to let me be naive, to encourage the little girl in me to dance around, to cry in his arms, to say “I need you” even though it was he who always needed me more. The bottles reflected the sunlight streaming through the windows, a cardboard cut on the palm of my right hand bringing a painful sting, and streams of tears, and yet we kept folding and filling our life into the U-Haul bought boxes.
He sang songs from our childhood to stop the pain, Joni Mitchell’s Blue and Simon and Garfunkel’s America, and Dylan’s Tangled Up in Blue. They were our parents’ songs, the only legacy we would acknowledge as part of who we were. Those songs can still bend me over, gutting me, bringing on a case of the ugly cries.
The map is gone now. Only the words typed manically on a blank screen remain. He left the story in my lap, in my shaking hands, in my tear stained perspective. I hope I tell it well.