Keep Art Alive :: “Picking Up Where We Left Off” :: Art by Yoskay Yamamoto
“And in my dreams,
I meet the ghosts of all the people who have come and gone,
they seem to show up so quick,
but they leave you far too soon.”
Rae heard the sirens nearby, their sound coursing cold through her veins, freezing her statue still in the middle of Miss Bell’s grocery. The wails were all Rae needed to know, it was the answer to the unfathonable question she had been ignoring, it was the ending of this naive real life she had fooled herself into calling hers. Something or someone always came in and took her life from her. Next it would be boxes to pack, belongings to stand over and choose which can come, and which she will leave behind; sometimes it was only what she could carry.
Rae felt her insides twisting up, turning and tossing until she felt like she’d be sick right there in the middle of the breakfast foods aisle. She summoned up all that she had in her, her will and persistence and silly hopes, and lit them on fire, willing her frozen body to thaw, to move, to run. She left the cart behind, the list that Aunt Jo had sent her with, and her tattered patchwork bag. Rae ran, ran as fast as she could, ran faster than she thought her body would allow, until everything seemed distant, far off, and unfamiliar; except, of course, this desert had a way of bringing the familiar along with it in each and every direction.
The tears came then, fire hot and stinging as they slid down her face. Rae could hardly catch her breath, could barely stop the shaking that was having its way with every inch of her body, yet she refused to let herself collapse. She spun instead, in furious circles, and began to wail in some feral, otherworldly kind of way. She wanted to scream her humanity out of herself, holler into the dry winds all that was temporary and fleeting and far too beautiful to hold from her soul, cry until Rae was as dry as this desolation around her that she had just started to call home.
She had had such high hopes.