Loneliness . . .
So I go . . . I run . . . I drive . . . And I fly . . . Anywhere and everywhere and whenever I can . . . run on country roads and in backwoods until I’m sweaty and drained and exhausted . . . too exhausted to entertain loneliness. . . I come home, chased by the the sunset, and fall into bed.
I drive from my small town hub to the surrounding cities of my people I have moved away from . . . who have moved away from me . . . Detroit and Chicago and Grand Rapids . . . I roll over long stretches of road, always going somewhere to connect and I come home in the dark. . . Because loneliness, when it comes, creeps in with the sunset.
There is something about the sunset . . . A painful yearning that wells up when there’s no one . . So I do my best to cheat it straight into the night. If there’s a gap, I put a glass of wine over the edges. The longest days of summer are brutal. The middle of July makes me weep.
I fly . . . to Colorado and Hawaii and Arizona . . . to look over oceans and mountains and deserts . . . Because God is there and I am never lonely in these places . . .
But the pages stay blank . . . Clean and white and empty.
And then comes a day when the running stops and is replaced by a white, hot pain. There are bills to pay mightily and attorney fees. Both will buy my freedom if I can just be still . . . But it still feels like too much to bear and I am blindly tearing into . . . planning for . . . the north coast of a Florida beach . . . until someone angry keys my car . . . Rakes three deep crevices down the side of it . . . Like a claw . . . And I am grounded . . . Resigned to the loneliness that is sure to catch up with me . . . haunted by it.
I still have my legs and they’re free . . . so I run and hope it’s enough. I run through woods, pushing myself over the hills and through the curves . . . Three miles, four, and into five . . . Until my legs and my lungs are screaming . . . Until I can feel the pain draining out of me . . . And I come home and close the curtains against the setting sun . . . And pour myself a glass of wine for good measure . . .
The paper is still blank. I cannot keep running . . . and sleeping between.
I leave the tv off . . . Bring the wine into my office . . . It’s not the Hemingway whiskey, but it’ll do.
My God breathes purpose into me . . . My ancients . . . My people look on from photographs. My head is full of who they need me to be and they take up all the quiet space. My stories light the way and the loneliness can’t get in . . . My soul sits with me . . . Angels bar the door . . .
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