Monday, April 02, 2012

Where the Streets Have No Name

It has been one week since my divorce and I still feel like I’ve been sucker-punched in the gut. I spent most of my weekend in a dark, emotional corner vacillating between tears, anger and the overwhelming urge to punch something.

I didn’t sleep last night. I dropped the boys off at school today and planned to nap, but the neighbor’s lawn service was edging the three-feet of grass outside my window for an hour. I grabbed my keys and left the house.

I drove to Target. I bought stuffing for Easter baskets. Bags of candy piled in my cart, sickening and sweet. I found some Beyblades and tossed them on top of a bag of jelly beans.

“I’ll make the boys some shirts with SkyLanders, too. That will make them happy.”

The voice in my head was monotone. I was just going through the motions.

Target, the shopping center, the town – everything was suffocating me. Everywhere I looked I saw places I had been with Rob. A decade in this small town was now a cemetery of lost dreams. I had to get out of here.


I got in my car and drove away.

I hit a stretch of open highway and gunned my car. I opened the sunroof and felt the sun burn on my thighs. I rolled down the windows. All of them. Tendrils of my hair came loose from my ponytail and whipped my face. I listened to the wind lash about in the car and I pressed the gas pedal. U2 came on the radio and I turned the volume up to the brink of distortion. “Where the Streets Have No Name” blared in my ears and every word spoke to me.

I sang at the top of my lungs. Hair beat my face, filling my vision and my mouth as I called out with Bono, “Our love turns to rust.” I drove, without direction but with purpose, a furious blonde mess seeing the blue sky and the green trees and feeling the burn of the sun for the first time in a long time. I escaped the town. The town I’ve only ever known with Rob. I wanted to go where the streets have no name. The scenery flew past. I drove with one hand on top of the steering wheel and my eyes fixed on the road ahead of me. My hair assaulted me the way my mind had assaulted my heart all weekend. The sting felt good. We’re beaten and blown by the wind/Blown by the wind.

I sucked the air in my nostrils, my senses alive, feeling everything. The burn, the sting, the air forced into my lungs, the hum of my tires on the road. I drove on, lost in the music, the moment. And for the first time in a long time I felt alive.

U2 "Where the Streets Have No Name"


Courtney said...

I agree with Claire. There are moments in life I remember telling myself to take it hour by hour. Hang in there. There are better days ahead.

Shannon said...

Thanks, Courtney. I remind myself to remind myself of this every hour of every day.

Chris Hamilton said...

I'll show you a place, high on a desert plain.

You gotta keep your belief in that place. To borrow another U2 lyric, it's a place that has to be believed to be seen.

Looking forward to teasing you again at this year's conference if you can make it.

By the way, this entry was really well written. If you ever write a character that goes through this stuff, refer to what you have here. I really felt like I could feel some of your pain based on what you wrote.

Shannon said...

Thanks for stopping by, Chris. I hope you make it a habit.

Are you kidding me? I wouldn't miss the conference for all the raffle tickets in your big, glass bowl!

I appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing you in October.

Kellie said...

Once you find yourself, that strong, independent woman that you are, you will feel whole again. Music is therapy!!! Find a new theme song that fits you. Play it every day and smile!!!

Shannon said...

Thanks, Kellie. I am writing my way back. I appreciate you stopping by and encouraging me to find my new song. :)

Kellie said...

Try "stronger" by Kelly clarkson!!!