Too Close to Home

Been trying to escape for longer than I was born. Feels like the leash never unclipped, the illusion of freedom still constricts. Resentment gnawing in the background, whittling a tired bone of discontent. Waiting silently becomes equivalent with inhaling monoxide. The sudden burst of anger and anguish at nothing and everything, the irrational desire to storm out the door and strike out on foot -anywhere!

Everywhere, but here.

In minds eye, the horse is mounted, the chariot is galvanized, the motorcycle roars to life and whispers of freedom. Of wide open spaces, of fields of wheat, of forests dripping with condensation and sea salt even as the moan of elk echo in the highlands and the clap of clashing mountain goats nimbly pine for supremacy in every bar room fight. The hiss of the wind, the whisper of the waves, the squish of swamp, the desert stretching for infinite miles, rampant with deception -an unfaithful broad winking in the moonlight.

Sinking into the loam of possibilities, staring at constellations distant and foreign, where the village women press herbs into my hands and fill my bowl with spices. Where the brazen antelope frolics without fear and the tiger stalks patently in the grassland. The dance of the maidens mingle with feelings of warmth and fire, swallowing the flame that simmers low in the belly and burns down into feisty coal. The itch of the wandering eye, the sore feet begging for one more step, the scratchy cloth wrapped round the heads of men peering into the whirlwind.

The outstretched hand holds the universe and the impulse guides the rudder adrift on abject waters without a hint of shore. The scent of coconuts, the abrasive sand between toes, belching volcanoes grateful for a steady diet of earth and rock. A thrilling chase, euphoria of standing at the peak of the mountains and diving down into scented waterfalls that no laundromat could ever compete. The crisp bake of relentless sun, the pruned fingers of eternal rains, the mold and ice creeping inland. Cracking ice shelves, icebergs ripped away like bread at the last supper. In remembrance of heat, embrace the four seasons: sun and dark and pitch and northern lights.

Rainbows promising an exciting view just…beyond…the bend.

The phone jolts me awake.

I stare at the bleak walls. Hollow eyes flick down.

It’s Mother.


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