Six and-A-Half Hours

Last night, I turned off the lights of my apartment and the darkness rung in my ears like a call from an unknown number. I found it a lot and grabbed my keys before stepping in to the light of the hallway, stepped in to the lift, exited the building, and entered the parking-garage next-door to find my car. The engine brought a familiar sound of purpose that held strong as I exited from the opening shutter of the entrance’s eye. It’s funny, but it took cutting four other cars off on four separate occasion for me to recognize the way I was feeling. Once I saw it the illusion surrendered belly-up with the most earnest of eyes: my tight knuckles were a range of sharp peaks against the lights ahead of me, my foot ordered the gas and break with a startling lack of caution or forewarning, and by the way my face kept close to the wheel you would think death was ready to jump out in to my headlights at any second. All at once and at no particular time this state of affairs came to me along with a destination.

I pulled in to this parking lot that’s nothing more than a road sign with the impact of a goldfish memory to rush to a stop with one yellow line almost dead in the middle underneath me. I wanted to get out and slam the door behind me; I wanted to throw my keys at a passing car and crack their windshield. That wouldn’t work, so I next thought about smashing all of my own windows and taking a seat inside the MacDonald’s near-by. From a window I’d wait to see how long it would take for someone to steal it. Twenty minutes I’d wait on the least-compensating metal chair that could have possibly been my date for the night before running back out and throwing my keys in to the driver’s seat. Why I would have ever taken the keys with me I’m not sure, but it pushed me to throw them in a little harder. Perfect form though, and as I let them loose I felt like I’d maybe missed out on something as an athlete. My teamwork was about as strong as a chain of paperclips trying to tow a jeep, but maybe it would have improved if I’d taken up more sports. Just simply trying to figure out which was the result of which or which I would need to have put first to push the other forward was already more work than I was willing to do.

Once I turned the engine off though I just sat in the same silence I’d driven forty-five minutes away from. There weren’t many cars on the road and the passing half-hours dwindled those numbers to practically nothing. I counted the seconds between them and only stopped when I could build minutes. In the back of my head I wanted to go home and sleep but knew I wouldn’t be able to. I felt chained to that bed: rattling up and out to eat breakfast, shower, go to work, and whatever duck-walking parade the route of the day led me along. Feeling tired and uncomfortable with my legs cramped and the soreness all over my ass feels different and that’s really all I know that I want right now. When was the last I did that? When was the last time I was tired because I wasn’t sleeping? Or wasn’t sleeping because I was up?

The sun rise makes me feel sick. I want to puke in the most dramatic sense but that’s not gonna happen, so I’m just going to have to feel like this for awhile. It’s not as good as what I was hoping for, but what was I actually hoping for? Checking my phone with the last of its energy suggests something. This is the first time I’ve realized I don’t have a best-friend in a long time. Probably since high-school when I first found myself without one, but the nights over and that map of memories and what-ifs will have to wait until next time.

In the rear-view I see some kid in a reflective vest get out of a truck and start picking up trash with a stick. In a couple of hours there will be a rotation of people passing over all of this without much thought to anyone maybe having been here this morning. I think I care even less about them than they do me, but mostly everything is alright right about now. The raw and itching of my rose-colored glasses will probably help with the view of the day, but I really was hoping something more would have arrived at dawn.

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