The Evening I Left

               I lie on the pickup truck out in the field, and I gaze at the stars. I hear crickets chirping, and I hear the occasional faint breeze. I’m alone, and I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing. I faintly hear, or rather, don’t hear, the not-sound of my father’s not-voice as he doesn’t lie next to me and doesn’t answer my questions about DNA. I smile as in wonder at the information as my old childhood curiosity is sated, and as I look up at the beautiful sky with my not-here father.

       I don’t know why I came out here after all of these years. I know how I got here. It was just today. I got into one spat too many. Okay, it wasn’t a spat. It was a brutal fight. Insults were hurled, profanities were thrown, mostly by me. It was frivolous, but it was personal. It was especially so, since we knew that tensions had built far too much already. We knew things were serious, but neither of us were going to confront them. I remember how she stormed off in a huff, slamming the door to our bedroom. 

          I remember how I tried to have a little wine to calm down, how a crash came from the kitchen. How I ran to the kitchen to find a plate that belonged to my mother in pieces on the floor, and a flustered, scared daughter of mine in front of me. A second later, I was looking at my hand in shock, and my daughter was lying bruised on the floor.

        I remember how I ran to the truck. How I just drove alone the interstate for what seemed like hours, never knowing where exactly I was headed. I just knew I had to get away. I had to make sure that, wherever I went, I didn’t come home. They weren’t safe around me, still aren’t, never will be. I can only hope that they get over my disappearance quickly. 

     I think I’ll go to bed in the back of this truck, sober up a little. Come morning, I don’t know where I’ll go, but I can put a name to it. Come morning, I’ll go on.

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