Monday, September 1, 2008
"I imagine you driving
in the rain. now
play some more."
They were just a few simple chords, and I didn't have the words to fill them up. She was trying to help me with my song by creating a 'scenario.' I closed my eyes and tried to see it: overcast sky, yellow fields, eight white knuckles gripping the wheel as I sped on home. What would my thoughts be in that moment?
I couldn't imagine.
Two days later and I found myself in that place: driving the 30 mile stretch past rolling hills and a perfect, clouded sky...it began to pour. I sighed heavily, knowing that in seconds my vision would be shielded almost completely; the windshield wipers needed serious replacing. I let the pull of the road guide my steering and the trills of Bob Marley bring a smile to my lips. I remembered with awe the parallels of my current situation with her words that day...
"What would you sing about if that was you- driving all by yourself?"
I tried to concentrate. Self-analyze. Thoughts, my thoughts. What did I feel? Were there any dominant emotions tearing their way up to the surface? It was silly to have these questions...yet surely driving through a storm with so much to think about, so much to mull over, ought to raise up some kind of feeling...
And then it came. I was feeling, and it was tearing its way out- slowly, so slowly. The road wound around itself in moments, and the earth's tilt seemed to pull me more steadily in one direction. My heart raced. I knew the feeling so well, and the word shot forth like a spark from my trembling lips.
No, no, no, not this. Don't be feeling this. Don't let yourself think that way. I had so much still...
People loved me. My friends still knew me. I had love for them, too. Big love. They needed to know that. So I had to be there the next day to call and tell them.
I would be there.
The original lyrics echoed through my ears...they needed to change. And I needed to change my heart. Change. Change. Change it all.
Whips of rain lapped against the sides of my car. I planted my left foot more firmly on the floorboard. Some part of me had to be in control because the dashed, yellow lines stayed in my peripheral. I hugged the subtle turn to the right and closed my eyes for half a second. In that moment a sequence of images flashed through my mind...
*Sitting on the balcony and watching people through their windows. A boy that sat next to me took my hand and said gently, "We need to talk." The anxiety enveloped me, minutes before I found a place by the dark tennis courts to cry.*
*Walking out of the auditorium full of blank faces, all blank except one- whose eyes found mine and returned my gasp with an all too friendly smile. "Hello, pretty girl."*
*Standing in the middle of an ice-covered parking lot, with my arms outstretched in pain. I was begging him to say it again, with different meaning. But he turned and walked away. I counted the steps that furthered the distance between us.*
*A wintry frost that coated the metal stairs up to my apartment. He stood there at the bottom and brushed the snowflakes out of my eyes. In my ear he whispered softly..."I can't. I'm sorry."*
The memories dug deeper and deeper into my past. I went through each detail with painstaking tenderness...all the breaks. All the apologies. All the lasts.
Some may not believe it, but each memory was a different person. I had let myself open up- yes - that many times.
*Another, he stood against the car and watched me walk to my door. I blushed as I noticed his stare, and that smile of his right then stuck with me for too long.*
*And then I was sitting in the pews. Watching my angel shift his weight from side to side. He was too perfect, and I had to take it in one last time. My angel took the train ride home.*
*Pulling away from his kiss, we both waited for the feeling to come. But there was none, so he half-waved goodbye and headed west: the product of two year's anticipation.*
All were different, all were the same.
A stinging and sensational burning crawled up through my veins as I recalled one more...
*It wasn't so long ago, that night I found myself still hurting in his embrace. His lips to my salty skin were repentant and forceful...a innumerable amount of "I love you's" and the one desperate "please stay"...I pushed him away, out of my car, out of my window, out of my life. He sat for a while in his truck, in hopes that I would change my mind. But I drove away from the scene in a frantic calm, away from the only one who never stopped loving me.***
And I wouldn't let myself remember any more.
Not the others hiding within the cracks. Not the first time I felt my heart crumble from within, when I was sixteen. I stopped there, before I could see the reflection of my serious eyes in the rear view mirror. Buckets of rain bore harder onto my soul. This wasn't what I wanted in my song.
Would I be loved the same again? Would I ever be seen as just a girl with her heart wide open, cautious but willing, bruised yet mending, dead still and beating? Would I rid my myself of these ghosts before they ruined yet another beginning?
Here I was, driving in the rain- all alone- just like she imagined. No middle to the music, after the part where I leave off...
"this could be it, this could be it..."
Only an ending
-something much easier to create.
"Don't worry, be happy now."