Monday, 12 December 2011
The last time I remembered looking up was at the corner of N 7th Street. Two more down and we turned (the dog and I), but I wasn’t paying attention. I was just trying to avoid the old man walking his dog on the opposite corner. It would have been a pain trying to keep Buster back; he’d have wanted to go say hello to the other dog until we went our own ways. Instead I turned down North 9th, unknown to myself. I was letting my feet take me wherever, and I had enough anger inside my muscles that I could’ve walked forever. Or at least until the anger wore out (which was eventually what happened). So we walked down 9th until we met the cemetery and I laughed at myself because the whole time walking down that street I was thinking about how I’m going to take my life. I’ve decided that stepping out in front of a Semi is the most poetic end I can come up with. It’s fitting because since I was twelve years old I felt like life was ramming itself down my throat like a Semi cruising down the highway. Embracing the grill of that man-made monster is the best I can come up with for poetic; it’ll have to do, because there isn’t anything else. I don’t have access to a gun and pills aren’t effective enough. When I die I want to do it once; I don’t want to wake in the hospital and have to try again. If I can’t do it right the first time then I shouldn’t do it at all. So when we came to the end of 9th Street and saw the Forest Cemetery there I laughed inside my head. It was so fitting. That’s when I realized that the last street sign I’d looked at was 7th. And wouldn’t you know that 7 and 9 are symbolic numbers. 7 is that ever-perfect number; heavenly and what-not; and 9 is just an upside down 6, which is my last lucky little number, baby. So we turned on East J Ave (which is ironic because my first name begins with J) and we followed the cemetery out into the winding country roads. We followed that road for quite a while, at least until I started to tire. At that point I knew the anger had worked its way out of my muscles and through my pores. I’d left it in sweat and bad memories along the road. And as the anger left rationality reasserted itself. Paranoia began to eat at me. I never walk wherever. Buster and I have a route that we usually trek faithfully, but today we needed something more. Okay, I needed something more. So I let my feet guide me. No, it wasn’t my feet – it was something more poetic – it was my heart. My heart led me out onto that country road where I’ve never felt safer, never felt more like myself than I did today. The temperature was perfect and the sky was overcast. It still looks like it could snow, but I don’t want it to. I want it to stay like it was this afternoon at 2:43 p.m. when I reached that bend in the road where I knew if I kept going I’d never go home. I turned around and took Buster home not entirely because I wanted to go home, but because I knew I couldn’t take him away from his daddy. Buster is not my dog. He never has been and never will be and I don’t mind. I don’t want him. He’s a great walking partner, but otherwise we have nothing in common. We don’t even like each other. We merely tolerate one another. I will always wonder what would have happened had I kept going down that road. Where would I have wound up? Would I have ever turned around? But those are questions that will never be answered. I’m back to my safe, fucked-up little life, again. I’m back where most people would tell me I belong. The open road is no place to make a home. But honestly, it’s the only home I’ve ever felt I truly belonged to. I’ve never felt happier than when I’m walking down roads my shoes have never touched. I’ve never felt better than I do in the moments like today when I just take off walking with no place or destination in mind. The world is open to me; the road is mine, it’s my home, and I don’t need anyone or anything else. 9th Street ends in the cemetery and so does my life; that’s what I really wanted to say. And to let you know that I’ve had one last moment where I truly felt alive, truly felt happy. It’s gone now, like it was always meant to leave. 9th Street ends like everything else.