i remember a late fall/early winter afternoon while i was still living in gaithersburg, maryland. i was driving home from work in my 2000 silver jetta with the weight of the world on my shoulders and a lump in my throat that had been there for 2 days straight. as i waited at the light on georgia avenue, the sun was just beginning to set and it seemed that darkness was descending quicker than i could speed down that suburban road toward home. a few minutes later, music blaring out of my CD player, i remember turning left on norbeck road and approaching the lake as the first sobs heaved out of me, tears streaming down my face and blurring my vision. i pulled my car over to the shoulder and screamed out my sadness and anger into the approaching night, the desperation raging from somewhere deep inside of me. all that i had tried—and failed—to escape was trapped inside that roof and those four doors, stifling me.
after 45 minutes, i felt a bit lighter from the emotional purging and drove the last mile to the apartment i shared with my best friend. the light inside burned my now-red eyes. my cheeks and lips and lids were swollen and tear-stained. i felt deflated and empty and walked directly to my room to lie against my cool sheets in the dark. it was better that way.
now, 7+ years later, i sit here on a thursday night realizing that these days, i might go months without a good cry, and what often sets it off has nothing to do with those old hauntings. it has been a long journey from there to here, and the road has taken me in many different directions, with stops and side trips along the way. sometimes i haven't been able to see from the grief that clouded my vision. sometimes the darkness fell too quickly and sometimes the lights shone too brightly in my eyes. sometimes all i wanted to do was sleep and yet i kept driving, with only the hope of my destination keeping me going.
i've heard it said that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. i'm here to report that this is, quite simply, untrue. there is no straight line between then and now and no 'shortest distance' to be found when it comes to walking a crooked path filled with pain and heartache. the salvation in it all, though, is that there are those chosen few who walk beside you from time to time. there is friendship and laughter and sometimes even love to stave off the loneliness and confusion. there are maps and signs and roadside stands. there are smiles and phone calls and random chats with near strangers. there are blogs and internets and people who remind you that the possibilities for joy are greater than for sorrow.
all of these things, tangible and intangible, seem to make the crooked paths straighter somehow. these are my wonderwalls, and 'i don't believe that anybody feels the way i do about you now.' they never will.