Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And It's the Damage That We Do and Never Know

My last daisy hanging on for dear life in November.

Tonight was a blur of people viewing my apartment, running and driving the girls places. I'm going to try to write a little fictiony'ish thing on here tonight. Since I'm moving again, I thought I'd write a little on that theme. It was from a time in my life when I was in my late teens and moving every few months to a year. I like to call them my lost years. This particular incident takes place on a Greyhound bus ride from Santa Rosa, California to Tempe, Arizona. I will warn you that this is an EXTREMELY rough draft that may or may not turn into anything. I'm sure it also has miles to go before I can veer it away from self-indulgence, but I gotta start somewhere don't I? Here we go:

It was the first time since she was a kid that she felt it. That hot, dry wind that came close to singeing off her eyelashes when she stepped off the bus. She could almost feel it sucking the natural oils out of her skin. She remembered it fondly. Southwestern wind was so different from the heavy, humid air in the Midwest, that bogged down everything and was always breathing down her neck.

When she was little and lived in Arizona, she used to jump in the middle of dust devils. She liked to be in the center, looking out at the dirt swirling around her. She always came out feeling cleansed...Until her mother told her that she could catch Valley Fever playing in them.

This is exactly what she needed, she thought walking through the parking lot to Kmart to buy some new batteries for her Walkman. This change in scenery and climate. She was just killing time, logging miles waiting for her job in the California Conservation Corps to begin in a month. Originally, she thought she'd stay in a motel in Santa Rosa for that time. She had felt alone so many times in a room full of people when she was in college. She thought the real solitude might do her good. You know, give her something to be lonely about. But it was too much for her. Being left alone with all of her thoughts, and without anyone distracting her from the places her brain took her, was almost more than she could handle. So, she was heading back to Arizona to stay with her oldest sister for a few weeks.

There was always the hope that she would be a different, better person when she moved somewhere else. A person who wouldn't get chased out of her motel room by her own thoughts. The hope was that moving to California would make her more comfortable in her own skin. But there she found herself, in a parking lot, walking in a hot dry wind. Without even the slightest chance of it drying out her skin enough to finally shed it. She had definitely given herself something to be lonely about, alright.

Uh, yeah. That was a little of it. Like I said, very rough and possibly unusable, but who knows, I might be able to dig an image or a word out of it for something else.


Remiman said...

I liked this piece, probably because it hit too close to home. My mind can chase me out of many places. I like my alone time but it can get really scary sometimes!

Tara said...

I like your stories.

When I visited Arizona for the first time and stepped off the plane and into the walkway, I passed by a small separation that gave me a glimpse of the outside. I felt that gust of hot air and thought it was a vent blowing at me. Nope! It was the feel of dry heat. :) I loved it, though.

laura b. said...

I love the forlorn wish to dry out so much you could shed your skin.

another good thing said...

I like it- nice setting and the voice is moving- maybe too aware in this phrasing-she needs to be MORE lost, you know?
I love your writing though, it's so vulnerably real, so honest. Keep going with this piece, please.

Churlita said...


Thanks. Mine too. Mine too.


Thank you. I still love it too.


Forlorn is such a great word and a perfect way to describe that wish.


You are so right. I basically just wrote this post out as it came to me in about 10 minutes. If I decide to rework it, I'll have to try really hard not to have the self-awareness of 20 years distance. Thanks for that reminder.