Creative Writing: The Drive


Driving through the dessert can be wearisome, fatiguing and all the things
that you dread in a long drive. Not this trip, it was the new beginning, I was
on my way to find myself. I had 14 hours to contemplate the reasons I was doing
this. My friends said I was nuts, family said I was stupid. Let\'s see, nuts
and stupid, um, O.K. I guess everyone has their own opinion. Its not really
what I wanted to hear, but I could see their point.

Yuma, Arizona, my hometown, lived there for 10 years, graduated from high school,
had lots of friends, had a great job, but one crucial element was missing, I
just wasn\'t happy there. Everyone, including my family, (who by the way, all
moved back south), said I had everything going for me. I, on the other hand,
did not feel that way. There were hundreds of reasons why I should have stayed,
carried on, but it only took a few significant reasons to abandon my so called
perfect life in Yuma, Arizona.

I remember driving, looking out of the window at the mountains and clay colored
rocks. I realized just how beautiful it all was. Again, my thoughts turned back
to my life. The man I thought I would end up sharing my so-called perfect life
with. I could see his face, remember his smile, hear him laugh. Jim and I were
great friends for a long while. Almost a whole year, until I began to actually
feel something stronger. I had never been in love before and it had been an
overwhelming feeling. At a party, I had too much to drink and on the way home
blurted out how I had felt. He smiled and drove me home. The next day he came
by my house and sat me down and told me he had felt the same way. It began.
Two wonderful years, of now loving my best friend. It wasn\'t always wonderful,
we had our bad moments, but I was the happiest I could ever remember. Jim was
still in the Army, it was time for him to decide whether to re-enlist for
another 3 years or get out, be a civilian. He decided to get out. Jim was a
very private person. It was hard for him to share himself with anyone, even me.
I respected that, and gave him his privacy. But I never realized that meant
that he would leave Yuma and leave without me. I never told him how I felt and
he never discussed his feelings with me. Our last week together was the best.
We stayed up all night and gazed at the stars and went into the dessert and
watched the sunrise. Those times I will never forget. The day came, we got up
and I drove him to the Phoenix airport. The drive seemed endless. We kissed
goodbye, and he was gone. I drove back to Yuma, and went to work.

I had been employed by the Federal Government, a Civil Servant is what we were
called. My job description was Computer Information Specialist. Which simply
meant that I created programs for divisions on a military installation. My last
assignment was to create a program for the communication division. I worked
intensely on this program. Logging in around 25 hours overtime, and 3 months of
work. Three days before my big presentation, that was to be given to the
division head, I was informed that a commercial program had been purchased for
$32,000.00! I could not believe it. I was devastated.

What a bad 2 months I had had. I stopped by the store and got a bottle of
Tequila. I remember the shattered feeling I had. I cried for the first time. I
sat in my driveway sobbing. I just realized that Jim had gone and would not be
back. I felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on my chest and I was
trapped. I was hoping the Tequila would give me strength to release myself.

I woke up the next mourning on the living room floor a red magic marker was in
my very sticky hand.. Lemon peels were scattered all over the room, and there
was a mound of salt where the salt shaker had spilled. I was laying on a map of
the U.S. and a bright red circle around the city of Sacramento, CA. I did not
go to work that day. I slept and cried.