Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Road Trip, Part One...

Did I mention that? Did I fail to mention that I was going on the biggest trip thus far in my young life? That I would be travelling a journey of firsts? First road trip, first ocean, first ferry ride, first plane ride?

Oh, I didn't?

Probably something to do with the million hour work weeks, but whatever.

Mal is leaving. And at this point, I have to say that she has left. But for the time being, I have gone with her.

And I've never mentioned that my best, most beloved friend is going anywhere. She first brought it up ages ago, and I thought, Newfoundland? Nah, Mal's not going to Newfoundland!

You know, I've been in denial before. I've been in denial over the fact that I'm out of cigarettes, or that my car is out of gas, or that I'm not going to make it to work on time. Like, No way! That can't happen!

But this was a very real and very true case of denial. Like, nope! My best friend is certainly NOT moving away and I will never allow my mind to process this fact. And so I have not allowed my mind to process this fact.

And even while we were moving her stuff into storage and moving other stuff into my house for her to stay the last week, I didn't process that she was leaving. I didn't bother to think that this might be her last time in a long time at my house, or that we might not have this opportunity to stay up late into the night, chain smoking and giggling about ridiculous things.

The night before we left on her road trip, I worked twenty hours out of twenty four, in three shifts at two different jobs. So I returned home, planning to leave in eight hours, spun from my time at work, unable to find my GPS, and with a visitor in the house. And Mal was quiet and rather than being a normal human being, I carried on through the house flipping about my GPS and the packing and my laundry.

Mal went to bed and I carried on, trying to get my packing done and have just one more cigarette before bed when, at 11:57 p.m., it hit me. My heart stopped and I wanted to scream and instead I just continued sitting there like a zombie. It was Mal's last night in the Clifford Cave with me and rather than being with the person who needed me most, I was with my mother and this character.

Soon Mal came through the kitchen and sped off into the night before I could stop her and I returned to the kitchen thinking, this is it. This is the move that has ended our friendship, my fear of mentioning her leaving.

While she was gone I cried. I wept openly and I told my mother of the thoughts I've been having regarding her leaving, and I whipped out a pen and paper and I jotted it all down, those thoughts that have been plaguing me for so long but that I haven't let out because really, it hurts to have feelings.

Eventually she returned and we retired to the Clifford Cave together and she spoke the words that were on her mind, only I couldn't speak the words that were on mine. So I asked her if she could, if she could stay up for ten more minutes and read what I had written because I couldn't say it out loud.

How do you tell someone that they are your everything? How do you say those words that you can't make yourself say out loud? So I asked her to read my words while I fetched myself a beer and I returned.

Mal and I had more words to say and she finished by giving me the set of Jammies that I always wore while at her house. And she had washed them in her laundry soap, with her fabric softener, and every time I've been at her house for the last two years, I've put on this set of jammies and gone on about how much I loved the smell of those jammies.

And she passed them to me and I went to put them on, and I couldn't hold it in. I burst into tears and I threw myself on the bed beside her and I wept, holding her and the jammies, and I just said it out loud, I said that she is my person and that I love her.

The next day we headed out. We had bags under our eyes, our hair was messy, we were wearing less than impressive clothing. Her Chevy Impala was loaded to the gills.

Wild eyed, hair akimbo, and cigarette smoke billowing out the windows, we headed across Canada.



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