Skip to main content

Here again. Sitting. Summer night. Car off. In the winter, the car’s running. All seasons, the heat helps the depression. Like mold in a closet. A thought in the head. Hearing the words of the argument. Growing. Spreading.

Stop the reruns. Can’t.

Been here before. A version of the same. A different parking lot. A new spot.

The old drives. Seeking a spot between streetlights. Burnt-out lot lights. Parking in the dark. Reclining the seat. Conspicuously pulling up to empty churches. Neighborhood side streets. Empty parking lots. Alleys around every corner. What is out of sight? Where is the danger out there?

Distant beams. Reflections. Exposure. Shining in the eyes. Unable to fall asleep. Too early. Too bright. Too many thoughts. Too many words. Too repetitious and as obnoxious as the first time.

Before, driving filled the time. Never the hole. From the anger, a giant gap opened in the chest, mind, and air. Not a sufficient amount to breathe after a fight. Screaming. Shouting. Growling. Stomping. Slamming. Huffing. Holding in the breath. Exhaling the insides, and none of the hurt leaves the body.

There is a way, but not in the car.

Driving became reckless. Tears. Accelerating. WRONG WAY signs ignored. Police out, making the sporadic night worse, cautious, at fault.

Never alone. Cars. People inside – following or at the peripheral. Buildings. People behind windows. Streets and sidewalks. People watching.

Black lots – pavement, lighting, inviting dark exhibitions and expositions. That’s where to be.

But drowning in air. Roll down the windows. The night is hot. The humidity is aggravating. The leather seat is sticky and conceals body heat.

Refuse to turn the car on for air conditioning. Want the uncomfortableness. Want the silence. Cars on the freeway are close. The cicadas are loud. Close eyes. Open eyes. Close eyes. Squint. Squeeze. Rest. Pry wide. Hold lids.

Reading once helped. Drive from the argument and home and go through an entire book. Keep the book for the drive aways. Under the seat like a flotation device. Can’t remember the story now. The distraction worked then. A blanket in the trunk for long, cold getaways.

Tonight, no book. The distraction would not work. The fight damaged the brain. Concentration is an afterthought. Depression is hardly worth sitting. Anger is low. Sadness.

It’s sadness. Sadness is the night. The space in the car is sad. The air. The windows. The sounds. The memories. Rain pings would harden the airtight vehicle.

The arguing had gotten worse over the years. The driving, more frequent. The naps, easier to enter. The self-care an accident. The neglect, honest.

Disagreements lessened. Attention dwindled. Love upkeep ended. Repair stopped.

Tonight, the emotional explosion came from both ends of the home. Perspectives rivaled. Voices chanted from within, from the screws and roots of timed discomfort. Measured aches. Silenced needs.

The collision of qualities bled and bit – teeth into teeth. Cracked egos. Individuals dancing toward death, fearmongering out of desperation. Nothing as close as the separation created. Toughness. Bones hardened. Flesh never broken or touched. Interior of the heart shriveled.

Tonight, the glowing automobile ground lines, the boundaries, is where time wastes. Thoughts grow into nothing. Abilities cease. Every time, the ability to manage ended before there was an answer as to how, or when, to begin.

Come home. Start over. Start again. Retry.

But not this time.

Collected years of these hours away, in the car, parked in the dark lot, contemplating, ruminating, assessing, obsessing, losing, sobbing, clenching, searching, wanting, wanting, wanting …

The answer should be in the glass of the windows. In the wind. In the lust or smile of the relationship. Didn’t the bond brighten and glow on its own? Didn’t the link invite a good time, for futures to behave and become?

Should the engine start, will there be a tunnel of hope on the way back? Because the hope in the car, twisted in the past fight and fights, is lost and worthless. Becoming worthless. Becoming its opposite. Dread filling the clock like gooey discharge. Sucking the invisible, gunk of ominous matter into the nose, mouth, and weighing down the lungs.

Turn on the headlights. Drive away. Lead. Don’t follow. Lead. Take the road. Return home. Try again. Because if it were to snow, rain, or hail, the sitting and sulking would not suffice. The windows would seal everything in. The blowing air would need the engine. The running engine would further disturb the nuisance. Where was the nuance? Was everything’s everything? Wasn’t there more to confusion and discovery than badness?

Tonight is the time. Leave. Reenter. Develop. Share. Express. Hold. Kiss. Suppress rage. Express acceptance. The love. The kindness. The support. The sex.

Go home and have sex. For the good of …

The bullet comes from behind, shattering the driver’s side back window, and slips through the skull, sinking the sliver into the brain, ending all options.

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

More posts by Dan Jones