where i've been lately

The past few days I've been wandering. Visiting old friends, exploring places I'd never been--carrying most of my stuff in a bag or the back of my car. It's always a weird sort of feeling. We never act like I'm about to leave forever. It's always casual conversation, asking about the last few days. It's like watching a clip from a movie or reading a chapter from a novel. I don't know their stories anymore, and I'm reading a little chunk of it. But they look happy now, mostly.

I wonder if they notice that I'm coming undone. I've got a few nervous tics. I fade in and out of attention as some little thing, a movement of her hand or something she says, draws me back to the time she--well, that's another story altogether. I return to reality and shake my head to get back. I blink a lot more, scratch my arms, look around--do they see me? Do they know? And I do it all more when I'm nervous.

And the night comes to a close and they ask if I need a ride back to my car and I say "No, it's okay." So then it's hugs and handshakes and fleeting glances and I'm alone in a darkened parking garage. It's a long walk to my car, a hundred miles to the place where I'm staying--and I realize I'm finally a man without a home.


Janie Rushing said...

it sounds sad but exciting, to be without a home, like jack kerouac was always sad but exciting. and on the road the dashboards, dharma, cigarettes glowing orange along dark hot highways sometimes tasted lonely, but his typewriter never lay quietly.

Our Lady of the Flowers said...

I also have no home, but not because I'm traveling. Some people never feel comfortable being in one place; personally, I feel most at home amongst strangers, on a subway, an airplane, anywhere but settled in one place (that's what makes me most irritable and tense).

The road can be your home too, if not always the most hospitable one.