Through The Mountains

24 Nov

Do you remember when we drove through the mountains? It was cold then, the way it is today. All around us here were suitcases,and boxes of food, and skis and those little back-packs to keep on our laps that we stuffed to the brim with cross-word puzzles and Judy Blume novels. All these things pressed in around us, but we could still see the wind push the snow in spiralling patterns across the highway.

On the sides of the road there was rock as far up as we could see. I knew that they had stuck dynamite into the rock and blown it up so that we could pass through these mountains, almost like gods. I imagined what used to be flying up in the air with a loud burst of anger. It was that same anger that we all knew so well. It was loud and sudden and slowly petered into a hum or a whisper. Everything was quiet now.

We drove in the dark, and right now we couldn’t see anybody else on the road. It was quiet too, except for the sound  Bruce Springsteen singing Shenandoah. You put your head against my shoulder and tried to fall asleep. It was late at night, and for a moment I believed that it was my job to keep you safe. Safe was inside, in the hush and the Bruce Springsteen and the Judy Blume- far away from the outside the swirling snow. And the anger. Oh, the anger.

I wonder where you are today. Do you sit in the same car and look out the window at those dark mountains? Is that drive the same, without the crosswords and the Judy Blume books that you’re much too old to read? I wonder how you feel, and I wonder if you miss having my shoulder to lie your head on. I wonder if you still make that long drive through the mountains, or if you drive to someplace else now. Is there still the swirling snow on the highway? Does it make you remember too?


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