Let’s Get Lost

“Let’s get lost.”

She said to me, passing the half-spent joint. I inhaled.

“Uhm. Ok.” I said on my exhale. I sped past the driveway of my house and turned out of our neighborhood and onto the long country road behind it. We had just made a beer stop. The 12-rack of PBR seemed like it wouldn’t make it past the night. I grabbed one and cracked it open. I handed it to her. I grabbed one for myself. We lit cigarettes and rolled down the windows to let the oddly-warm Ohio summer night air roll through our fibers. She held the joint up to her lips and flashed me a smile. She looked away bashfully. We had only just started dating. We were in that phase where she took photos of me in my bedhead and pajamas and showed her friends how “cute I am.”

She wants to get lost. That soft twinkle in her sky-eyes told me she knew where we were going. I didn’t. I don’t think she knew the location. But she definitely knew the destination. And that’s what I love about her. She is so not-me. I am the pragmatist to her whimsy. Sometimes, I’m the downwind to her upwind. I stop her in her tracks when she’s trying to soar. And in those moments, I am more lost than I care to be.

~~~
“I got the art internship!” Upwind. She had applied for one in California. She’s so excited, eyes twinkling. I am not.

“Can you even afford to do that?” Downwind. She is worse with her money than I am with mine. And I once spent an entire paycheck in one weekend. But that wasn’t my concern. I know she could get help from people. I know I would help her. Yet I harass her over her lack of money. For weeks, I point out every pointless thing she buys — even the gifts she buys for me that I actually cherish — as an illustration of how she can’t do it.

“I turned it down.” I feel conflicted. The twinkle in her sky-eyes had faded. I am happy she will remain here in Ohio. But, deep down, sad that I have crushed her dreams.

~~~
I took a turn onto a backroad I had never been down. I looked over at her. The wind was blowing her hair around behind her head. Her eyes were closed and she had a content grin on her face. We were high. We were young. We were happy. We were free. She looked at me.

“Do you want to hear a story?”

“Sure,” I said. She recalled a memory in fondness:

“When I was a kid, I watched an old Bob Ross tape my parents had… I know it’s cheesy as fuck, but… He was actually so happy to be painting. And I was just like, a kid. And I just liked being happy. Like a kid. So, I started painting. I realized I was actually pretty good at it! And then, when my parents got divorced, I kinda threw myself into it. The whole time they were arguing and fighting and in court… I was just painting. I spent a lot of my free time in the art room at school. The art teacher really pushed my art. She told me I really had potential. No one had ever encouraged me like that. Art kept me on the ups throughout high school. I never really thought about that until just now…”

“That’s awesome, babe.” I smiled at her. She smiled back and stuck her cigarette between her teeth. She turned up the music and we traveled down the road. It was just me, her, and the open road. We were going nowhere of importance, yet we were going somewhere important. We wanted to get lost.

~~~
In the weeks since she turned down the internship, she stopped painting. She just watches TV now. We don’t talk as much. I can tell that my presence reminds her of her missed opportunity. But, she loves me too much to ever harass me about it. She loves me too much…

I know that I’m causing her so much pain. And it causes me pain. But, she’s genuinely convinced she can’t do it now.
And I don’t know what to do. I want to help her.

~~~
“Let’s turn here.” She pointed at a side road that went up a hill. We went up the hill. It plateaued off into a clearing. The clearing then dipped down into a grassy shoreline for a lake. We had no idea where we were. We were high. We were young. We were happy. We were free.

“Let’s get out of the car.” She stepped out of the car and I did, too. I admired the car as I stepped out. I had just finished repairing it a few weeks ago. It was a ’55 Porsche Spyder — the kind James Dean drove — that my father and I had found relatively cheap (it was a replica) and fixed up. We modernized the interior as much as we could and fixed it up to run like a champ. There were a lot of memories in that car. It was my dream car. I grabbed a blanket from the back seat.

We trekked downhill to the grassy shore she had the beer in her hand and I had the blunts in mine, blanket tossed over my shoulder. We found a nice place where the full moon reflected in the lake beautifully. I laid out the blanket and we sat down. I lit up a blunt. We looked at the view of the lake through the perfect frame of trees and foliage that nature had so generously put on display. It was like it was just for us. I looked at her. She looked at me.

“It’s so beautiful,” we both said simultaneously. I kissed her. We made love for the first time that night. Right there. At that lake. On that shore. We lied there for a while in the moonlight.We talked about life. I learned so much about her that night. After a while, we headed back to the car. The car that had gained yet another memory. I kissed her on the cheek and held the door open for her. I got in the car and looked into her twinkling sky-eyes. I was lost.

~~~
I love her. The memory of that moment from almost four years ago hits me as I walk out and look at my Porsche. I get in it and begin to drive. I want her to do what she loves. Because I love her. She deserves the world and I can give it to her. She can still get the internship. I called them and told them she would take it. I pull into the long driveway I was searching for. I get out of the car and shake hands with a man in a nice suit. He looks at me. He looks at the car.

“I will give you $35,000 for it,” he says after carefully inspecting my cherished car. That’s more than enough for me and her to move to California together and live for the duration of her internship. I feel conflicted. But, I know what I have to do.

“That sounds fantastic! I need a favor, though. Can I have it for one more night?” He obliges my request and I leave. I drive around a while and stumble upon the lake again. I look out at it and I rush to her place. I pull in the driveway. I can’t wait to tell her. I get out of my car and rush to the door. She answers it and she looks confused. I’m going to tell her tonight. But first, we have to do something. Before we can begin our adventure together in California, I think we need to put a cap on our adventures here. At the same lake we started. I look at her:

“Let’s get lost.”

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to do the things you want

to do the things you want
you must do the things you ought:
sleepless weekdays and twenty hours awake in work
creep toward weakdays and plenty of burnout to spare.
the compositions daunting and deadlines drawing near
as my watch keeps taunting me with the secondhand-imposing jeer;
the strains of life generate a brain that is fraught
with neuralgia.but therapy comes as art:repair-
ing us and declaring us fit to acquire the things for which we search
to do the things we want.

i have been slowly tearing

i have slowly been tearing
out my hair by the roots
waiting ,highly,
anticipating the news
while my internal monologue is slowly recreating
but the answers i have are scarcely ever placating
and dialogues we have are rarely never fearing
and i approach the subject shyly

 

i have slowly been tearing
up at the thought of no you and me
me and you — there is not two
just the one to make me pleased
an ashtray full of cigarettes and no thing full of regrets
just splendid-melancholy sublets in the underbelly of this;lifes complex
but when the subject is broached is it nearing?
or simply,just a case of deja vu.

 

i have been slow-ly tear-ing
down my wall of apathy(
we equals you and me
be-ing happy);
however
eternity
is not a flee-ing chivalry
where virtue is a heresy
damnable by despondency
and hypocrisy is my mediocrity
dressed in denim jeans
and a plain pocketed tee!
no.rather
eternity cannot be
the here-now.i see:
my faith in me
was just a plea
to spare me from eternity?

In Death, Part IV

The young man carries himself like he’s not an addict. He is poised. He is alert. He would have made a fine soldier. Every now and then, he stops and scans the area. Usually, because he thinks he hears someone. But, it’s never anything. We stop in the next town. We go on a supply run. We walk into an antique store and look around. Just for fun. I don’t like this building. The way it continues to settle. Too many creaks and groans as we walk around. He calls me over. He asks if I happen to have found any loose tobacco. I had a few towns ago. He has an old pipe and asks if he can have some. He says he hasn’t smoked a pipe in ages. He packs it up. I watch him intently. I never was one for pipes. I like my nicotine quick and to the point. He turns to me to ask for a light. His eyes widen. I feel a sharp pain in the back of my head. Everything goes blurry and fades to black.


I awake to the sound of voices. An unusual sound. As my vision adjusts, I see the young man. He looks terrified. As I begin to comprehend the environment, I notice we are tied upside down. We have been stripped down to our underwear. He is panicking. I try to swing around and take everything in. But, the room is blank. The voices sound like they’re outside the door. I try to speak to the young man, but I spit up blood as I open my mouth. My headache is splitting. I need a fucking cigarette and some whiskey. I hear the door open and see some light leak in. I try to rotate and see who has entered, but I only hear his voice. He is rather upset. Suddenly, I feel myself spin around and there is a man right in front of my face. His breath wreaks of stale tobacco and sour milk. Pleasant. As my eyes adapt to the darkness, I make out the features of his face. He is missing an eye. He should probably have an eye patch because that void is fucking disgusting. It looks infected. His other eye — the one still in his skull — is bloodshot and pale grey. His lips are dry and cracked. The teeth he has are black with rot. He scans me intently. Or at least, half of me. He spits in my face. It smells like rotten eggs shat out by a dog then eaten by a bird who promptly puked it back up. Nice.


“Who the fuck are you?”


Well. I don’t know how to answer that, sir. I sit silently and try to take in the surroundings. He has a bat perched on his thighs as he crouches in front of me.


“Well? Who the fuck are you?”


“What do you mean?”


“What do you think I mean?”


“It seems inconsequential.”


“I like to know who I’m about to kill.”


Oh, a gentleman savage. “I don’t even know the answer to that anymore.”


“Well, you better find one quick. Cut them down.”


I feel a release and I drop on my head. That’ll help my headache. I am lifted up to stand and look in the eye of this man.


“You have a lot of supplies. What were you?”


“Just a teacher.”


“Bullshit.”


“Well, believe what you need to, but that’s all I was.” He doesn’t need to know anything more.


“Well, teach… I’m taking all your shit. I hope that’s fine.”


“You get an ‘A’ for survival technique.”


“Oh, you’re a funny guy, huh?”


I like to think so.


“How did you survive?”


“I guess it was just luck.”


“Luck. Sure. Because that’s what I call lucky. Let him go.”


The hands that held me up let me go and I stumble a little. I regain my composure and look him in the face. Which is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in death.


“Leave.”


“Ok.”


“Not you dumbass… Take the boy.”


His two cronies grab the young man and exit the room.


“I don’t like you.”


“Obviously.”


“You’re disrespectful.” He’s quite astute.


“Well, sir. You did kinda kidnap me and my friend.”


“Fair.”


“And took all of my supplies.”


“Yes, that’s right.”


“That’s pretty disrespectful.” I eyeball the bat he has now slung over his shoulder. He looks strong. I think he’s probably not very agile, having only one eye.


“Well, you haven’t earned my respect.”


“That seems a little one-sided.” He’s obviously a fair leader. He laughs. He drops his bat to his side. I see my opportunity and jump for the bat. Right as I grab it, I feel a heavy handed punch on my side. I fall over. Luckily, I still have the bat. I’m certainly not as strong as this man. I jump up. I now notice how large his hands are. He swings a southpaw hook towards my face. He misses. I swing the bat and he stops it with his right hand. I’m actually impressed. He jerks the bat, taking me with it. I hear voices clamoring outside the door.


“Stay out there! I’ll handle this cocksucker.”


Well, I think the homophobic comment was unnecessary, so I grab the bat and swing it hard. I connect. With the wall. The sting in my hands made me drop the bat. He grabs me by my neck and throws me down. He stands over me and clasps his hands together to swing down on my head. I duck through his legs and scramble for the bat. I grab it and swing it around and hit him in the leg. He drops. He quickly recovers. Just in time for me to hit him in the head with the bat. He drops again. For a little longer this time. I watch him shortly to make sure he doesn’t move. I burst out the door, swinging the bat. I connect with one of his henchman and the other puts up his fists to guard himself. The young man grabs him in a chokehold and eases him into a nice sleep. We run away from the brick building. I see my bag and our clothes and we snatch them up as quickly as possible and keep running. After about 20 minutes, we stop and pull on our clothes. He laughs. I laugh. They stole everything but my whiskey and my cigarettes from my bag. That’s fine. We take a swig of whiskey and I offer him a cigarette. We continue walking and laughing. Maybe he and I are more alike than I thought.


We continue walking. A little faster pace than normal. Occasionally downing some branches and veering off path to cover our tracks. We find a well covered clearing that looked acceptable to sleep in. We sit down and crawl under the clearing. As the sun begins to set, I light my lucky cigarette up. One more day. Though, now I’m wondering if this is actually a lucky cigarette in this world…