6.12.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo from Mad Men
Photo from Mad Men

June 12, 2013: We were lost.

One Reply to “6.12.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. We were lost. She was supposed to be following the map, her finger tracing a line from where we’d been to where we were going; I was driving, concentrating on keeping the car straight and looking out for deer on the road. Miles back there’d been a sign and I knew then: we were lost. She didn’t want me to stop at first. She said to just keep going. She was hoping that suddenly there be something to tell her exactly where we were and she’d know which way to go then.

    I knew we were heading away from where we wanted to be, but I did as she said, and I was looking for something to tell us that we were lost. I did what she said, but I did it in silence and I could feel a black thunder inside me and I wanted to shout and to swear and to stop and turn around.

    Then she swore, and I could see up ahead the name of a town: ‘Welcome to Clarksville’ it said. I swore, too, and I punched the wheel and swore again under my breath and I sucked in air and let it out again in a long blown sigh.

    We stopped at a garage and she got out first and she had the map in her hand and a young man in a blue cap, his fingers all oil, came over. He said howdy and could he help her and he called her pretty lady. She smiled and explained that we were on our way to her mother’s and how she was sick and there wasn’t much time and how her husband must’ve taken a wrong turning someplace. She talked as if I wasn’t standing there beside her and her words were all soft and all lemons and sugar.

    The young man nodded and said that he understood and it was no big matter and he could give us directions to Bowling Green. He waved his hands in the air and pointed to where we wanted to go. He said we’d come a bit out of the way, but we weren’t so lost as we could’ve been. He figured we wouldn’t be so late neither, not if we followed his lead and he knew a short cut from where we were. She asked him to show her on the map, just to be sure.

    Back in the car, she said how people were real friendly hereabouts, as if that was a point in her favour, and I knew she was making comment against where we lived. See, I’d taken her away from all this and though she was glad at first, lately she’d seen things different. And now her mother was sick and to her bed and somehow that was my fault, too.

    I reached over and put my hand on hers. I wanted her to know that I didn’t blame her for us being in Clarksville when we should’ve been almost in Bowling Green by now. I wanted to offer some comfort against what lay ahead. She said as how I should keep both hands on the wheel and her words when she said them were all hiss and spit.

    We were lost, you understand, and it wasn’t just that we’d taken a wrong turn on the road from Memphis. We were lost in so many other ways and we were going home, to her home, and I wasn’t sure if she’d be coming back with me when this was all over and her mother was buried. And to tell truth, I wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing, her not coming back with me – that’s how lost we were.

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