Take a little drive with me, down a rural road. It’s night, and the only lights are the headlights of the car. It’s warm enough to drive with all the windows down. You can smell the fields and orchards. Passing a farm house you might even get a whiff of cow. The smells of the earth. The sounds of insects and frogs. Winding around the back roads there might be a house or two that still have some lights on. What’s going on in that house? Or that one? Are the people happy? Are they watching TV or reading? Do they have a pet? Are they happy? If I were someone else and I lived there too would I be happy? IS ANYONE HAPPY???
Those were very dark years for me. This was back when I was unable to talk or let anyone know the complete hell that was going on in my mind. Since I’ve already written about this, I don’t need to repeat it. My mother seemed to know I was in distress, but she never asked me about it, and I wouldn’t have been able to say anything anyway. There are a lot of mental gaps in those years, but one thing stands out. Once in a while my mom would suggest going for a drive at night. Just her and me. We lived out by the tank farm and the cemetery so there were plenty of back roads to drive on.
There was no destination, just the drive. I never told my mom how much these drives meant to me, and I was never able to ask her to take me out. She just did this once in a while. I would have given a good part of my soul back then to just keep on driving. Didn’t care where. All I knew was that at some point, the drive would end. We’d be back at the house. I’d have to go in and get ready for bed because HELL WOULD RETURN IN THE MORNING. As long as I was in that car I was safe. I didn’t have to think about school, about being around a lot of people, about being alone in my mind where the demons dwelled.
But all rides come to an end eventually. Even now, to bring it all back, all it takes is a short drive from point A to point B in the dark, windows open, the summer night coming into my soul, the sounds and smells of nature soothing me. Telling me everything is going to be all right. It’s OK. I am safe.
The drive is over. No need to run away anymore.