The between hours

The sun was a gold disc, blurred by salt patterned windows; the horizon a bleary somewhere else. We drive the way of tackle shops, motor stores and cheap motels. The roads lined with general stores and diners that belong to people like Frank and Al and Nana. I listen to a melancholy playlist and that song comes on. The song that fits like a second skin. The song I carry with me always.

We drive until the sun disappears, until the lights of the city appear in its place. After five stale hours, the children two seats ahead get antsy. We adults wish that we, too, could whine are we there yet? We’ve places to be, but mostly we’re tired of between.

Twenty six hours in another city. The heaviest hours I’ve felt in a long time, passing both slowly and too fast: burdened by the weight of sadness and carried by love. I pass on the songs that carried me here and hope they will offer some strength.

My memories are full of Greyhound buses. Of looking at my face in window reflections on buses, trains and planes. Tired eyes and bedraggled hair look better in the forgiving dark glass. I watch one city disappear and another appear in the fog before dawn, and I think of a quote I heard years ago:

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre

4 Comments

  • By Alaina, March 7, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    Wow. As always, you have such a beautiful way with words.

  • By Faebala, March 7, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

  • By chandra, March 7, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    Creepy and depressing, but absolutely beautiful

  • By Eleni, March 13, 2011 @ 4:59 am

    Lovely.

    Also: Ugh, Greyhound buses. That was my mode of transportation between home and college. They have a certain smell, a stuffiness, that always bothered me when I got on.

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