Before sunrise, I drove home in silence.
I’m waiting for it. — The aftershock.
Even good things take their toll. And, after riding high for months, flying back at a normal altitude is like returning home after an earthquake. — Nothing is where is was before. — And, when you try to return your possessions to their rightful places on the shelf — it’s all wrong. Things have changed.
In the quiet cab of my car, I think about them — Earthquakes. Cracked foundations. Dismantled shelves.
I look out at the red lights that bleed across my dash and wonder — how did I arrange all this? Where do I put these old pieces that seek to feel new? I’ve returned from my own dream and I’ve forgotten where everything belongs. I try to squeeze my whole world onto one shelf.
Sobriety isn’t easy. I keep finding, that as the dust settles, I’m still surrounded by rubble. I return to the site of my earthquake, often. Some days it feels impossible to rebuild. Long stretches where even a feeling is just too much to process — I’m tired of surveying my own damage. Sometimes, I miss being numb.
This old place looks new. I’m not sure what happened. I long for things that I understand — that I recognize. I miss a comfort that I’ll never feel again. I grasp at my idealism, the thing I once carried so easily, as it snakes through my fingers.
I need this — quiet. The low purr of the engine. The plastic Jiffy-Lube sticker, curling off the corner of the windshield. Air whistling through the cracked, driver’s side window. The heater vents all at full steam. I manage these environs with ease as I sit behind the wheel at 6:20AM, wearing my pink, pajama pants — driving slowly — eyes peeled for falling rocks.
At the four way stop I push my foot down on the break and I feel the corners of my eyes holding back giant tears — two oval levees, moments from breaking. I release the pedal and give it the gas. Tears fall, heavy, onto my grey sweatshirt. I don’t make a sound.
At home, the cat meows at my feet. I sit on the floor, wipe my nose, and assess the damage. I decide to make repairs some other time. I know, when chaos returns, I need to take a few days to sit with it.
To feel the vibration. To find room on my shelf.
To sink my hands into the rubble.