Ever Onward

On the Road - Quote

The last time I found myself homeless, it was the result of an abusive spouse and her overwhelming desire to see me suffer. This time, my homelessness was somewhat planned – well, as much as one can really plan for this sort of thing. I finally got my parents away from the hellhole known as Utah. Having gone through my old belongings stored in their basement and assisting with the packing/storing of their worldly goods, I found myself ready for a new adventure. I’d put a little work into my 13-year-old Toyota Corolla (Bling – newly renamed “Bling the Undying” as a testament to his strength) and felt reasonably sure that he could survive another long adventure on the road. I felt the interstates and highways calling to me, their cries reverberating through my veins and echoing in the darkest corners of my weary soul.

Now I found myself holed up in another hotel, poring eagerly over my trusted map as I charted my course. The first stop would be Colorado – Loveland, to be more precise. If I had the time, maybe I’d drive down to Denver the next day and spend the night there. I had always wanted to roam the streets of Denver. Regardless, I hoped to set foot in a dispensary somewhere along the way. The concept of weed being legal, of it being sold in a retail environment, was so utterly foreign to me; I wanted to experience it for myself and – if I was lucky – maybe even make a purchase. Being physically disabled and in pain 24/7 made me curious as to its medicinal properties – specifically, its ability to provide relief from pain. From Denver, I would head through Kansas. I figured I could make it as far as Hays, or maybe Wichita, depending on whether or not I spent a night in Denver. After that, I’d make my way through Missouri and Tennessee before ending up in North Carolina, where I hoped to spend a night or two in Asheville before heading closer to the Charlotte area.

Beyond that … ? I wasn’t sure. I’m still not. One thing seems certain: the world is more open and full of possibilities now than it’s been in a long time. The feeling is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Grief

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The thing they don’t tell you about grief is that it’s like poison coursing through your veins or a wound that never quite heals. One moment you’re moving forward, dogged determination propelling each step; the next, grief strikes back with a vengeance, often triggered by nothing in particular. Grief is the sudden, sharp ache in your chest; the inexplicable weight on your soul, pulling you down to the depths of despair even on the brightest of days; it’s the way you grit your teeth suddenly, struggling to comprehend and control the conflicting feelings inside of you; it’s the tears you’re suddenly blinking back in the midst of a raucous crowd, with nobody the wiser – and you used to cry once a year, right? Grief is that unexpected ambush when a certain song plays on the radio, the threat of having to pull over as your eyes fill with tears, preventing you from seeing the road ahead of you. Grief is avoiding certain songs – or even a particular artist – altogether, knowing that the┬ályrics will evoke treacherous tears.

Grief is the worst kind of bogeyman, lurking in the darkest corners of your heart and rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.