The Mountains and All They Can Cure

I left the house in a rush. In one burst of manic energy, I packed for a couple days. I was at the point where I couldn’t think about anything but getting away. Anywhere was better than here. In a perfect world, I would’ve thought for months about this trip, but the fact that I didn’t have a plan made it more exciting.

It felt like everything that happened these last few months, all the pain and exhaustion, it was all leading up to my break anyway. This was bound to happen. I wouldn’t consider it a break, but my best friend called it that when I showed up at her door with a text, “Hey. You’re coming with me. We’re going to the mountains.”

“You’re crazy,” was her answer. I wouldn’t have expected any less. She packed her bags and was down in fifteen. From the driveway, she looked insane. More insane than I was. Her black hair was put into a messy ponytail with flyaways illuminated by the midday sun. She wore a gray sweatshirt and black leggings. Her backpack, stuffed full of clothes and camping equipment, was a forest green and held her sleeping bag atop it.

“I need this more than you do.”

She told me that as she threw her backpack in the backseat of my SUV.

“Hold on, do you have a tent?”

I hadn’t thought of that.

“Uh, no. Don’t you?” I replied.

“My brother is using it this weekend.” She groaned. I rolled my eyes.

I wasn’t sure when it was that it set in that I was an insane, spontaneous person, but by the fourth hour of our road trip, it had crossed my mind a few times.  Emma loved me for it. She could always count on me for a last-minute mania induced trip in which we find ourselves, only to lose ourselves when we come back to work the following Monday.

We laughed. We laughed a lot. The entire drive was filled up with conversation, never a dull moment. Never a moment to think about just getting stood up or not getting that promotion I really could’ve used to fuel these trips. I didn’t think about the date I was supposed to go on until Emma had fallen asleep and as I laid on the hard ground, the only way to distract myself from the pain my back felt was by thinking about the pain my now-ex caused.

I realized a while ago that I shouldn’t let myself get wrapped up in someone like him, someone still obviously going through his partying college days even though he dropped out two years ago. I knew he was bad news, Emma tried to tell me, but I didn’t care. I liked the way he looked at me when I told a story, and I liked the way he laughed too long when I told a bad joke. I liked how his hair looked in the morning before he showered, and I liked how he’d cook breakfast for me.

I knew the mountains wouldn’t have an answer, and I didn’t care. It was a distraction at least and at most it would be another story to tell: two way-too-stressed 20-something’s go on another spontaneous trip in attempt to find themselves, only to find themselves with smaller bank accounts and bags under their eyes.

Seasons

And I don’t think anyone could make me feel as free as when I’m walking down the suburb streets I know so well, mid-summer, the wind at my back, headphones in playing my favorite song.

I don’t think anyone could make me feel the relief of the sudden chill in the air after months of overheating, finally wearing my favorite jacket, going for a walk and seeing mushrooms after it rained.

I don’t think anyone could make me feel as safe as looking out my window in the morning after the first snowfall of winter, the warmth from my blankets contrasting with the cold of the windowsill.

I don’t think anyone could make me feel as hopeful as the first day in spring when it starts to warm up, after months of bundled up, freezing temperatures and I can sit outside and work on this or that.

And I don’t mind. Because the seasons could never remember my favorite color or the way I like my coffee. The seasons couldn’t hold my hand or give me their jacket when I get cold. I fell in love with the seasons, and they come and go and I fall in love with each change, but they could never make me feel as wanted as a text saying, “this made me think of you.”

I miss the feeling

I miss the feeling,

that feeling of being at home

with you.

The only problem is

there is no

you.

There is only

me

and what good does it do

when it’s late

and I’m freezing over?

My sheets don’t suffice

when all my dreams

are of your cold, bitter winds.


The Dead of Winter

The wind was harsh, cutting into our faces like daggers, leaving us red in the face and nearly frostbitten. The dead of winter never felt so dead as we trudged down the road to the gas station to pick up hot chocolate mix. It was ironic, the heat wasn’t kicking on at our apartment, so we nearly got frostbite trying to buy something that’ll warm us up. If we make it, it’ll be a story to tell, but for now I just want to get out of the snow. The snowshoes we dug out of the closet were sinking into the snow more than usual.

“I think it’s time to get new snowshoes.” I yelled through the tunnel of wind.

“What?” Eva yelled back, squinting to see me through the snow still falling.

“Need new snowshoes!” I said simply.

“Yap!” Eva said, or that’s what it sounded like. She said something else, but it was muffled behind the snow.

I paused, turned around, and squinting said, “Huh?”

“Never mind, go.” She put her hands on my shoulders and turned me around, patting my shoulders before letting me go.

Though the cold tried to break through my spirit and render me useless, having Eva with me to make this two-mile trek kept me warm.


Snowfall When I've Got No Plans

Snow has been falling for almost an hour now. I awoke to see a dusting, but now it’s nearly up to my knees. I’ve got nowhere to be, though, and I’m watching comfortably from the warmth of my blanket and a cup of tea. Music plays softly from my speaker; I serenely watch the snow fall. Hours pass and the snow settles at waist level. Sighing, I appreciate this week off from work I’ve taken.