Gentle Mistake

I-95 near Savannah, Georgia. I’m peddling toward my delivery in Charleston. Kinda down this morning. Dunno why, really. I suppose part of it is just that I have no enthusiasm for driving this truck. I can’t muster my usually useful quiet resignation. I keep thinking about how pointless it all seems. I come out here week after week, trying to make money and buy recording equipment. And it seems like that’s all that I have anymore. It’s just not enough.
I suppose I screwed up last night. I was laying in the bunk and started thinking about the house. As I usually do, I started to clamp down on that. But something stopped me.
For some reason I closed my eyes. I let myself go there.
I was standing in the front yard. The Japanese cherry tree was in bloom and the yard was covered in pink blossoms. I hugged the tree. I always loved that tree. I watched it grow tall and strong from a sapling, right outside my bedroom window.
I walked up the steps and smile at the familiar scuffle of my feet upon the ceramic tiles. I opened the mailbox just to hear that metallic ring, opened the storm door and reveled in the squeak of its hinges. I opened the front door to its comforting whoosh and stepped into the living room. It was like it was when it was last furnished. Piano under the front window. Television in front of the covered up fireplace. My stereo on top of it. The last couch was there, and the coffee table.
The computer room was as it was before Mara left. I didn’t go in there. The dining room was empty, but for my folded drawing table in one corner. I didn’t wonder about that, but just let my mind go where it would.
Then I went into the kitchen. I opened every cabinet and drawer just to hear the sound. Fiddled with the knobs on the stove. Opened and closed the refrigerator a couple of times.
I looked around in the utility room that’s off the kitchen, rested my hand upon the floor freezer, thumped the metal utility closet to hear the ring, and looked at the washer and dryer. Goddamn, but I miss that washer and dryer.
I went from there into the bedroom. It was the jumbled mess it usually was, with clothes in the floor, with the sleigh bed that was too big for the room. I shut the door behind me and wandered on down the hallway. I ran my hand across the top of the cabinet that stood beside the bathroom door. Don’t recall if I looked into the bathroom or not.
Then I went into the back bedrooms. My rooms when I was a teenager. Loretta’s rooms later, where she died. Mama’s rooms after that. They were empty. Try as I might, I couldn’t imagine furniture into those rooms. I also couldn’t bring myself to step through that doorway.
After that I drifted into the backyard. I sat in my swing for awhile and listened to my windchimes. But oddly enough, I felt no breeze upon my skin.
That was pretty much it. After that I opened my eyes and sat up on the side of the bunk. I can’t really say what I was feeling. There was a slight sense of accomplishment that I was able to go back there in my mind. I certainly haven’t been able to physically.
Overall, though, there was just me looking out the window onto the fuel isle of a truck stop in Summerfield, Florida. That was reality. And I thought that as much as I would like to lay down and go to sleep, I’d better go inside and get a drink and something to eat so that I could take some Goody’s powders to ward off a creeping headache. I needed to quit fucking around and get started towards Charleston.
I suppose that’s how I wound up here.

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