What if I just kept driving and didn’t stop at the supermarket like always. What if I went past the county line and the library and the big grocery store in the next town and I didn’t look back. What if the old Cadillac was filled up with gas and I was the only person in it with no plans and a full tank and a pack of peppermint gum. I had cigarettes in my handbag, some money in my wallet, and I just followed the signs to whatever seemed like a fun sounding town.
I had no idea where I was heading. Lord knows I had NO sense of direction but no one was going to make fun of me here or tease me about it, it didn’t matter at all. I couldn’t get lost because I didn’t know where I was heading in the first place. My husband and the two kids criticized my driving and my lack of a sense of direction ALL the time, they got so nasty about it I just refused to keep driving with them. Why bother when all they would do was laugh at me? I didn’t need that, not all the time, anyways.
Maybe they would feel a little lost on there own when I wasn’t home fixing up their meals and arranging their music lessons and get togethers with their friends not to mention the PTA library fair and keeping house and grocery shopping and preparing three, sometimes four meals a day. Let’s see who they criticize now.
I knew where I was heading, to the only place I loved, to the place where a girl could relax and feel overpowered at the same time. I bet you know where, if you know me at all. Right. The ocean, why I have loved the ocean since I could walk and toddle on the sand. When my mama and papa would hold each one of my hands in theirs and swing me over the waves until I learned to do it myself. I would sit on the rocks and stare at the almighty ocean with it’s bursting fire of waves and splashes of that foamy soap on top. I loved to watch how far the tide would come up to meet the sand, I walked for hours picking up seashells, even the broken ones were pretty, to me.
It took me seven hours to get there because I really didn’t know my way and I am sure I got turned around more than a few times but I got there alright. On my own without asking anybody anything. I wonder what George and the kids would feel when they read the note that I left under the orange juice glass on the table. It didn’t say much, just that I was leaving for awhile, and they should take care of each other. I signed it, Love, Mom because I would miss my two boys but in my heart I really wasn’t sure how much I would miss George. I had been with George for over 22 years and yes, part of me still loved him as the father of my children, that would never change but part of me wanted more than he was capable for giving and I knew that. It was a choice I had to make. Do I settle for the known or do I throw everything away and start fresh? That was the reason for this trip, it would take some time to sort through it all, I knew that.