The high way stretched out for miles beyond the solomn glow of the old cabs head lights. Rain drifted lightly against the window, minutes marked by the skretch of worn whipers lazily clearing the glass. The night was long, and the sky was filled with gentle grey clouds, just heavy enough to release the right amount of rain to blur out the edges of the road. Miles slipped away in the form of yellow reflecters and evenly spaced phone poles. There wasn't much to see anyways. On either side of the cab, woods stretched on for acres, tree after tree, hour after hour. Mid Washington was nice in the fall, the air was crisp, the hills turned orange, the earth smelled ripe. Winter however left the woods a skeleton, desolate and rather gloomy, the tree tops stood out like black fingers agains the sky.
The thought of going home was overwhelming for me. There were things in the streets of Vancouver I couldn't describe. Faces lost on street corners that I never wanted to revisit. Memories still stashed away in musty shoe boxes and darkened holes. Scars left in plain sight, wounds left untended to. The slow and monotonous ride seems like a cheriot wisking me away to face a child I long abandoned. For reasons untold I ran from vancouver, from my childhood, and my security. I ran to forget the things I'd felt, the things I'd wanted, I ran to forget it ever hurt. For eight years now I've been hiding. Eight years I have been ducking birthdays, holidays, and hurtfull aniversaries.
The cab driver was an older lady with almost irodescent eyes. Her eyes appear soft thought all too deep, and her skin is slightly wrinkled. She cheaks are loose and show a hint of red in then. She has a tiny nose that sits nicely above her mouth that is almost lost to the bulk of her face. Her head is crowned with an almost transluscent red waft of hair. Her voice was soft but had a slight rasp to it, a smoker maybe. In general her presence is neither noticable nor avoidable.
"So what's this trip all 'bout?" The cabby asked in an almost sarcastic tone. "You going home to find the love of your life?"
"Something like that..." I replied.
More like going home to save the last bit of my past I can still hold onto, I thought as we slipped deeper into the night.
"So what is it that you are going back to find?" I rolled the question over in my head for minutes. The air in the cab took another feel, a suspencion fell between us. What am I going hom for? Why now? Why this christmas? Why me, why carl? And suddenly I the thought crossed my head.
"My life..." Yes I think to myself, MY LIFE.
"Your life? I should hope you had it on you, if not this trips gonna cost you some extra."
"I am actualy going home to meet two friends, two people I ran from. Erin and Jonny. They were my friends all through out high school. More then just friends, our lives were near promised to one another. We would have done anything for one another."
I say this last sentence with a chuckle ended with a short sigh. Wanting to do anything for one another, and doing anything for one another are two incredibly different things. Sometimes the thought doesn't out weight the action, sometimes people bleed even though you try. More often then not that's what happened.
Sitting bathed in darkness I begin to dive deeper into my memory then I have dared the entire I have been gone. Not even the invite for this reunion of sorts had such a recoil. Silently I sit there, knowing that cab driver wouldn't hear a thing I'd say anyways.
"I remember my freshmen year was like walking through hell. Everyday I would wake up and wonder my way through glares and almost unheard insults. No one took kindly to the poor queer boy, no one even knew my real name. Weeks went by and I slowly slipped farther and farther away. I could feel my eyes caving into my head, I wanted nothing more then to be dead. I could see no end to it all. Not only was I forced to walk through hallways that hated me, but I was forced to go home and not see another face until I entered that school again. For months it went on..."
"Over the summer I had met someone. I had just come home from my uncles house in Harrisburge oregon, where the only recreation was the sluggish river carrying cotton blooms down stream. I had worked for him all summer and was overly excited to go home. The last night I slept in the spair bedroom among the boxes and dusty relics I made a wish on a star that burnt faintly over the neightbor's house. It seemed silly, childish even, but it was hope. I wished for someone I could love, someone I could talk to. I wanted someone to keep my company. I found him. The first night I was back I walked into my sexual minority youth group and stumbled upon my wish. I tripped over and fell into a 5'7 blonde with amazing blue eyes and a skittish way about him. I tripped into love."
I could almost see Jesse's face in the darkness of the back seat. I remember the way he first looked at me, like he wanted to know something, anything. I sit surrounded by recollections of how his clothes folded and drapped from him. I remember sitting closely as the group played a game and ate pizza.
"soon after I left for my cousins house in Port Townsend Washington, ever summer I spent sleeping on her worn italian leather couch. I would waste my free days away resting in the sun, beside a lake surrounded by beautiful evergreen forests. The sent of pine was overwhelming and I knew this was were I wanted to be."
"But that wasn't true for long. Jesse and I began to talk on the phone. Phone cards became expensive, and I wanted to be closer. I wanted to be home. I jumped on the first train bound for vancouver and the next morning I stood on a plat form waiting for my way back to civilation, back to the city. Once I was there it didn't last long anyways. A month or so really. Jesse found himself an adorable 17 year-old kid with a red honda, who was willing to drive him where ever he could imagine. I never talked to him again. I vowed I would love anyone again, I wouldn't hurt again."
The idea of not being hurt again seems funny now. Pain is one thing no one can conrol, no one can predict.