Monday, April 16, 2012

help i'm alive.

It's a work night.

I need to be dressed and combed and sitting up straight in my cubicle at eight tomorrow morning. It's not that far away, but right now it's never going to come. I change my clothes while I'm driving away from work. It's not coming, I just left. I'm shaking with anxiety. I'm riddled with energy. I'm doing this. I'm doing this. It's fine.

It's not tomorrow. It's tonight and now five us are are crammed into Katherine's little red car and we're racing east toward the state line. We'll scream with glee as we streak under the arch and keep catapulting forward, onward onward.

We're drinking sweet cheap wine out of water bottles like it's our life blood. There's an entire box, maybe more between us. We're on a mission.  Daring each other to be the one to take a breather. Passing the bottle as fast as we can. And we're screaming the words to the songs wailing out of the speakers as Jessica steers the careening vessel and plays DJ, our hair whipping unpredictably in the wind, aloof and free.

We're racing the clock faster faster, we're holding in our bladders and willing the gas gauge not to drop. We don't have a second to spare. We've got to hurry, the show will start without us there to cheer and dance and sing. The show must go on.

I'd been feeling so old lately, commuting and counting pennies and ironing my pants. My eyes feel older from staring at spreadsheets instead of horizon lines and rear view mirrors. I feel lodged into something immovable and unforgiving, not held or embraced, but rather, trapped. Embedded into a surface that makes me feel like a shard of who I want to be. Splintered off from the whole. I used to move so fast. Now I'm sleeping through my waking hours. But tonight I feel awake. Tonight I'm doing something irresponsible and I feel like myself again.

The purple rims of my heart shaped sunglasses keep staining the edges of everything I see, Framing the flat landscape into something pleasurable. It's been so long since I felt like I was in the right place at exactly the right time. And this right place is a speeding bullet, filled with the people who furnish the home I hold in my heart.

We're laughing so hard I wish I could remember the joke. We'll beat the sun to our point on the horizon.
I'll never feel hungry again so long as this feeling is filling me up. I'm holding it in my mouth, I'm biting down on its sustenance. I feel so full.

I spill red wine down my chin and we go into a laughing fit. I can hardly hear what they're saying, these people I love, but I can read their minds. I know what you mean. That look tells me everything I'll ever need to know. I remember the corners of my mouth, wine streaming down my chin on both sides and I swipe at my wet skin with the back of my hands. Stains on my face like Dracula, stains on my hands like a murderer. Tattoos from this night. I wish they'd never fade. Stay sticky forever.

We make it and we're running and stumbling and talking so loud down the street toward the show, the cement old and weathered, pocked with imperfections. We can't relate. It's a dance we're doing together, moving down the sidewalk, slick salty limbs. Sunglasses in the dark. We're fine. We're fine. We're going an infinite distance in every direction just because we can. No one understands us the way we understand each other.

 It's dark and cool and there are so many bodies. We lose each other, but not really.

More! More! More!

What time will we home tonight? Three? Four? It's never mattered. The instant I got into the car tonight I knew it didn't matter. I remind myself.

We're singing and dancing and slugging back bourbon. But none of this crowd could ever be so loud, so bright as our race against the sun to get there. Three hours of soaking in each other.

"We're so close, to something better left unknown."

Goddamn right. I swing myself around. Goddamn right...

I sit in my cube at 7:59. Bleary eyed. Sit up straight, Sara. My body feels like everything it's doing is on an echo. Twice, three times I feel myself sit down in my chair, each time the sensation fades a little more. I'm perfectly still. I will my hands to type in my passwords. I'm running on sensory memory.

In the dark, on our way back, we pulled over in the side of the highway. I'm retching. It's hot. It's cold. Erin flounces out of the car and suddenly she's running backwards to catch her balance, but she can't get behind her legs fast enough and she falls. Legs in the air. Without missing a beat, there are arms reaching out to her.  Always long enough.

A swell of laughter and then we're all packed in again, moving. Homeward. My head across a lap. We're somehow already there.

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