There were many nights I walked out on Barbara. Sometimes I’d walk the streets for a week or longer. I wasn’t happy, and neither was she. Our relationship was suffering, and we both knew it.
The reflection of street lights run up and over the windshield. I watch them gather in a straight line behind me. The road had long turns through clusters of trees. I love to see connecting branches, creating nature’s tunnel. I’ve always dreamed of living in a house with something like that as my driveway. Makes me remember being a kid and riding in the backseat. I had all the time in the world to sit and wonder about things like this. I’d draw circles on the window and daydream inside a machine that was once a window for another finger to make circles. My Dad would mess with us on the way home by asking if we were taking the short cut or the long cut. Nowadays, times are flying by, but I’m definitely still taking the long cut back home.
All the creatures of the wood sing tonight. I approach my turn off the main road. The tires chew up and spit out gravel along the edge of the pavement. The motor gets louder as I reach underneath the carport. I know it when I’m in trouble with my girlfriend because she’ll meet me at the door.
“I said to pick me up when you finished donating. I don’t understand what’s so difficult about that. I feel like I can’t trust you to do what you say you’re going to do. Where did you go? What took so long? Is there any gas left in the car?” She continued to pile on while fumbling through the dresser drawers. I just kept my eyes down, crushing big rocks into little rocks, and the little rocks into powder. This was my desperate attempt to defuse the situation.
The news was on television, and spoke about the rise of addiction in our state. There were short interviews with a few different peer support specialists in the surrounding areas. At this point I’d been kicking around the idea of going back to rehab. “Hello? Are you really gonna ignore me right now?” said Barb. They’d even filmed the front of the rehabilitation center I’d been to before. I raised my left index finger pointing at her. I didn’t share my plan, but there was nothing she could’ve said to change my mind. I’d soon be leaving her for the final time.
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