I’m watching my hands shake on the wheel and the tears start coming.
I’m not even outside of L.A. yet.
I can’t see.
I’m going to crash before I even cross the county line.
Turn off Sia’s “Breathe Me”. You’re doing this on purpose.
As I watch the sights that I’ve seen a million times before grow smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, I think about all my failures in this city. And a boy.
My failures in Los Angeles and failure with the boy are insignificant to the greater picture of this move, yet they’re all I can think about.
My feelings towards the boy are the same I have for L.A. We had a brief and tumultuous affair, and after being fucked in the ass, love turned to hate and now the two dance together on a pencil thin line. That’s why I needed to get away. Not because of the boy. Though beautiful and purposely tragic, he is a major pain in my ass. No, it’s because of the delicate tango my emotions have played over these past five years in regards to my relationship with Los Angeles.
I’m trying to let all these thoughts go out the window with the passing desert, but they won’t leave.
They gradually get worse as I drive through Palm Springs, then across the Arizona border, and into Phoenix. My body and my heart hurt and this Kings of Leon album is not helping.
It’s 7pm and I haven’t eaten all day save for some Doritos and a Vitamin Water. The lights of downtown Phoenix begin to blur, not because of tears but because of hunger on all accounts.
I need to pull over.
I turn off the next exit. It’s dark. It doesn’t look promising. A Holiday Inn, a Love’s, and a Flying J. Then like a shining beacon the white and yellow sign of The Cracker Barrel appears. For the first time on this trip, I smile. I scream, actually. I cheer. I pound the steering wheel. My shaky hands turn the wheel into the parking lot and I’m so overwhelmed with emotion, I can’t get out of the car.
I float into the restaurant feeling complete disconnect from everything. I stare, slack-jawwed at the Christmas ornaments on the wall as I wait to be seated. I’m lead to a seat where I write this and anxiously wait to purge my food and my thoughts.