After a few hours around family I left the apartment and stepped outside into the night. It was only 30 degrees or so but the cold air felt refreshing and it was almost welcoming. The pleasantries of good-byes occurred and I was quickly in my car and already on the road. It must have been just a little past midnight and the road was scattered with a few cars here and there. As I made my way through the beautifully lit streets an overwhelming feeling came over me. A feeling of loneliness that hit me like a semi-truck doing a hundred on the expressway. With no warning, no alarm or no sign.. it hit me. The loneliness suffocated me and it held me down like I was its prisoner. Tears started to escape my eyes as if they needed to be somewhere. The only thing I had control of was the wheel, which is a blessing I suppose. The passing cars and their passengers had absolutely no idea that I was so emotionally drained in that moment, I was just a stranger making his way in the late hours of the silent night. I kept asking myself, “what is the matter? why are you doing this?” But those questions meant for my brain had no response, because my brain at this moment had no control. This was a matter of the heart, a matter of something else inside of me that showed itself after hiding in the dark for so long.
A red light. Thank God for the red light. I can try to compose myself if at all possible. I decided to take the long way home just so this loneliness had a chance to finish whatever the hell it had planned for me. As I made my way home on these often seen but long forgotten roads I was able to gather myself but unfortunately I had no Goddamn explanation. I was lost, I was confused and there were no answers in sight. Maybe I just needed this outburst as a jolt to my system perhaps. A kind of reboot or restart to get me up and running to optimal efficiency. As I approached the stop sign I realized where I was. A street from my house yes, but even more importantly the street of my childhood friend.
He had passed away several months before. To be honest I hadn’t seen or even talked to him for a good 6 years perhaps. There wasn’t some big falling out or anything but we just grew apart and fell into different circles. Life. I guess you can say life happened. I realized that I often came by this way and every time I linger just for a little bit before I go. With my feet on the brakes I just stood still at the stop sign this time. I looked in the rearview mirror to make sure no one else was coming down the street. Then I just sat there looking at his house. The frontyard where we played games during those beautiful summer nights. Back then we were innocent, we had pure joy and took things as they came. None of this feeling lonely for no damn reason. I started to smile just thinking about him and his infectious laugh. I thought about all the good times we had and wish I could have just said goodbye to him. Have said something at least. To be honest I don’t even know if they still lived here. It had been so long but it still seemed to hurt just the same knowing that he wasn’t out there in the world somewhere.
A light flashed across my face and snapped me back in to reality, back to the loneliness. A car was making its way down the street and I decided to make that journey of the final block. I pulled in to my driveway and turned off the car with the slightest touch. I stood outside, leaning against my car and let the cold air fill my lungs. I tilt my head and looked upon the clouded sky and let the cold hug me. The loneliness started to dissipate and I came back to myself. With a satisfied sigh, I finally made my way home.