Sometimes my heart aches. On the highway facing the Chugachs, headed to my mother’s house. I know that just beyond that range is the road that leads South; I could keep driving. Pass the last exit at the edge of town, and when the car dies along the way I will take what I can carry. Wrap myself up, leash the dog. We’ll stow away in anything mobile and race Winter down the Alcan, all the way to Oregon. But I sit, stay. Because I know that somewhere in cyberspace there’s a ticket with my name on it. A vacation, a christmas gift to myself, to get me through ’til Spring. I know I’ll make it back there permanent some other day.
My little brother and I only see each other in passing, crossing paths doing laundry at our mother’s house. I wish we were closer. He thinks I’m a man-hater and an alcoholic. And I get it. He’s thinking of seventeen year old me: self-destructive, never home, perpetually drunk, moving out at sixteen. He felt abandoned -like he felt when our parents split up. I hate that I made him feel that way. I hope someday we can mend those lines of communication and he can forgive me for being a bad older sister and I can forgive him for writing me off.
Lastnight I was climbing the stairs of my long driveway in the dark. I heard a high-pitched squeaking from above. Looked up to see a nest in the twisted naked branches. Baby birds? My roommate says it’s impossible this time of year and told me to get a flashlight and a ladder. But I didn’t want the answer.
Today, clapping my boots on the way to the van, I spilled my coffee. Ravens were dancing on the tops of other cars, playing and laughing with their rolling, throaty calls. Those birds are so fucking big up close! I know it’s tired for girls to speak about the beauty and mysticality of birds. But I swear ravens are my spirit animal. Picking through the trash and joking and playing all day long, loud and dressed in black.
I’m just here. I’m just up here simple, boring and daydreaming all the time. And there’s nothing else to do, because we have to believe in something.