|Sunrise highway drive through the gum and canebrake....flat, straight, and homeward bound|
I'll spare you the emotive tales of a childhood at the beach, descriptions of how close I was with all my friends, and lamentations of how we're not all that close anymore. We were a group of kids who experienced a lot together - an understatement capable of bearing some amazing, fun and very sad stories. But that's not what this is about. This is about what happened when I last moved away from the beach, intending to return (permanently) three months later. It didn't happen. I never came back, except to visit. I never really said goodbye, either, to anyone or anything there.
|Queens Creek. A special place.|
They set upon me as soon as I drove across the James River and south of Richmond, starting as cues of lost memories - her grandparents lived on a farm here - they had beef cattle. We stopped at a bar one night there - that band was amazing. He finally picked a fight he couldn't win HERE. As I drew further and further south, the cues turned to thoughts, bred like infections. Why didn't I ever tell him I found out about what he did? How did I forget to apologize to her? Why haven't I been back there? Of course, at one in the morning, there are no good answers to these questions, and so I did what I always do.....I kept going. But it's so much harder when you can see things stacking up in the rearview.
|The third harbor crossing. I remember the first time|
I drove it, what I was driving, and who was with me in the car.
The car's been crushed and I haven't spoken to her in 17 years.
I saw them - I saw you - there. There are so many people and places that I miss. I could list all of them - the people and places - but they'd look no different than your list, if you have one. And if you ever left your home and didn't return, I bet you do. Even if you never wrote it down.
One day, I'll allow myself the mental clarity to write down what I need to say, do, hear, and see to close out these old chapters, which I already know includes some ghosts that must be left alone. The other ghosts, be they places, events, or people (living or dead), can all be assessed on their merits. That's how important I think they are. So who can really tell what it all will look like, or sound like?
These are the ghosts of my own construction, and I owe it to them to either set them free, or let them come home....back to me.