Walking Alone Beside A City Road on My Way to Forever

Published October 31, 2013 | Blessingsingratitude.com

This is based on a weird true story. I was running away from home at 14 and walking along the side of a road, and a man stopped and picked me up. I was too young and dumb to think anything about it and so I accepted. Nothing at all happened except he took me where I needed to go and I thanked him for the ride. I still wonder all the time who that was, where he came from, if he ever went back.

 

Are you an angel?

A devil?

A priest?

I was a lost and lonely child.

My hurts

Could no longer withstand

Broken walls,

Cold silence,

Angry voices.

No love,

Not for me,

Not that I could fix.

 

I walked.

For miles.

The journey must have been as much within my mind

As without.

I was leaving.

– Never coming back–

And then I was there.

 

Many miles in a blink of an eye.

And then you stopped.

Black sedan.

Tinted windows.

I asked you if I could smoke.

You smoked a cigar.

(The devil?)

 

A tall man in dark glasses.

Asked me if I lived around here.

I lied.

Said I was in college.

Did you know?

Could you tell?

I was only 14.

 

Did you know my family

Broke me?

Did you know my life was too much for me?

Were you there to save me?

Or to take me to hell?

We drove.

 

“Up here on the left.”

Perfect gentleman.

“Thank you very much.”

Did you answer?

I don’t remember.

 

I was only 14.

14 year old’s only listen to themselves.

“They have great Mexican food if you are ever here again.”

And that was all.

 

I used the pay phone.

My friend lived close by.

A co-worker.

She convinced me to call my parents.

 

“I won’t go home with you.”

“But I will go to ‘treatment’.”

They agreed.

30 years earlier men in white vans and huggy jackets.

This time designer drugs and men in white beards

Looking disapprovingly over wire-rimmed glasses.

It was better than cracked walls

And cold silence.

 

I went

And played along.

Patiently playing the role of a patient.

 

When I was a “well”

But not whole

I went home.

Back to cracked walls

And cold silence

 

I learned to be quiet

To shut up

Patiently waiting

Until I could be free from 4 walls

Shattering around me

Holding me in

Trying to control

What could not be…

(Did they know that they had broken me?)

 

And so I look back

Every few years.

I look into tinted windows

Of black sedans.

I look up at tall strangers

And try to see past dark sunglasses.

Was it you?

Are you angel?

Or devil?

Or something in-between?

Did you go back and eat enchiladas?

(My favorite meal there.)

Or did you step off of this planet for awhile?

Onto another one.

 

A dove?

A crow?

A mocking jay?

A raven?

Where have you flown off to?

Are you behind me?

Just over my shoulder?

Will I see you if I turn around fast enough?

Too fast?

How fast is too fast?

Maybe God knows the answer.

Maybe I should ask.

 

Today my heart sings a silent thank you.

Who knows what rescue mission you performed that day.

You swooped in and saved me

If from no one else, from myself.

Just in the nick of time

You got me to the pay phone

On time.

Right on time.

When my future was calling,

And I was patiently waiting

To discover

That cracked walls

And cold silence

Were not the only way.

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