It’s Friday and I’m watching the hands on the clock in the break room. It’s the last break I’ll ever have here. Coincidentally, it’s my birthday and there’s cake and smiling faces. No one knows that I won’t be coming back on Monday, except my boss. She was sad to see me go. I’m a good worker and blah-blah-blah whatever. I won’t miss her or this place. The last 10 years have been a blur. One marriage, no kids, divorce and several girlfriends have all come and gone. Nearly no friends. No one I could call even if I wanted to. My parents died the day after my college graduation. A car accident on the drive home. I witnessed it from my own car. It was too late. There was nothing to do but put on the breaks and pull over and cry.
I’m cried out.
In the parking lot, I open the birthday card and a $25 Starbucks gift card falls on my lap. I don’t read any of the signatures or well wishes. No second thoughts. I decide to treat myself to one last venti. Starbucks are like churches here and it takes less than five minutes to find myself in their parking lot.
“Oh, the next customer is on me and probably the next one and the next one too.”
The cashier nods their head, not even a thank you or a sign of acknowledgment from the person behind me in line. Figures.
I want to have sex and think about calling the girl I always call when I start feeling this way. Instead, I go to Wal-mart and pick up supplies: one gallon of spring water, 3 tarps, a sleeping bag, pocket knife, Advil and some Pepto-Bismol.
I drive to my friend’s house and give him my car. He’s not really my friend, but he’s had an eye on this car since day one and I certainly don’t need it anymore. He seems shocked, but doesn’t ask questions. My last request is a ride to the train station.
My apartment has been empty for months. My rent paid up. My stuff given away slowly and surely for the past five years. The only thing I have left is a few books. I’m sort of looking forward to finally reading the Harry Potter series. I guess I could use this time to get closer to God, but why bother now? I’ve accepted my fate and so should He.
It’s lonely on the train and I feel like everyone’s eyes are on me. Do they know what I’m doing? I know I’m being silly and I bury my head in my book. I try to sleep, but realize this might be one of the last times I’ll be surrounded by people. I want to stare, so I never forget their faces, but instead, I fall asleep.
It feels like days, but it’s only been hours. I’m faraway from home. The salty air reminds me of my youth that the mirror always seems to remind me was oh-so-long-ago. It reminds me of Rita. We went here on a weekend camping trip. We didn’t see a single person the entire time. We fought like dogs, but made up like bunnies. I told her I would die here. Her eyes got big and I could tell that I was creeping her out. If she only knew that I was here now.
Would she try to stop me?