I can take a road that'll see me through

Music: Road , Nick Drake

“You can say the sun is shining if you really want to
I can see the moon and it seems so clear
You can take the road that takes you
to the stars now
I can take a road that’ll see me through…”

My son Hunter calls from a shelter in San Fransisco, stoned out of his mind just five days after being in detox and getting into a fight – and the way you handle my tears turns me around completely, turns me around right back into your arms.

Cigarettes pile up in the ashtray on your kitchen table as i crack open a beer, trying not to let you see me cry; and i wonder, incongrously, why these sorts of crises always seem to happen in kitchens…
You sit quietly across from me, your blond hair falling across your face like a sheet of gold silk, your gaze steady on me as i squirm in my chair, wishing i didn’t have to drag you into my nightmare.

“Please, Zoe, you don’t have to apologize for crying. I just wish i could say something that would make it all better; i guess it’s a guy thing – i want to fix it for you, but i know i can’t. That’s the only frustrating thing. I can handle your tears. And i can be here for you and listen, and whatever else you need…really."

We talk the rest of the morning away, just sitting in your kitchen for hours as a deluge of emotion and words spill from me; and you don’t flinch. You don’t try to stop me and you don’t back down. Your deep voice like cool water on a scalding burn. I was going to go home, but you somehow talk me into staying with you today. We both know i don’t want to be alone.
We spend the afternoon looking for safer shelters and resources for Hunter. You make calls while i search the internet. You make sure there’s a beer in front of me and a cigarette in my hand (some things require all your vices to get through – and mine are fairly simple. Unless i count you).
I look up from the laptop and watch you openly – you look at me and smile as you talk to some woman in some organization, trying to search help for my son.
I can barely think straight, but you are completely in control, suddenly – i side of you i so rarely see.

Three days ago i was so angry with you i couldn’t look at you. Now, you’re getting me through one of the Black days.

Nothing between us has ever been simple – i don’t know how to define what we are together. It’s as if we are twin planets inextricably pulled together in each others’ orbit. We’ve been together for days, somehow always ending up entwined in sleep – we haven’t kissed in days, it’s as if some days, you’re my brother. Others, i feel the pull of this strange, unconsumated desire drawing us together so that we can’t seem to physically part from each other’s company.

And tonight, when we finally collapse on your bed, you lay across me like a cat, giving me that look – your lupine, blue eyes on me as i lay back, your hand resting across my breastbone, just barely brushing the small curve of flesh; yet you still make no move to kiss me.

“I can’t explain it, but it’s like i’m almost afraid of touching you that way; like…with sex – there should be sort of a level of awe involved, it’s almost like it would be…disrespectful somehow to just jump on someone you respect. I mean i’m a guy…guys will just fuck anyone but with you i don’t want to be that guy…if that makes sense. Because whatever this is, it’s not just about sex. But that doesn’t mean i’m not sitting here with…well, sitting here wanting you. I can’t explain it. And i’m afraid i’d do something wrong, that it wouldn’t be good enough…of course, er, if you were to grab me right now i’d not exactly stop you…"
I nod, grinning, running a hand through your hair.
“But then,” you add, smiling your cocky smile, “it’s so much easier to just go to sleep."
I cuff you across the shoulder and turn over onto my side, let you pull me tight against you and bury your face in my hair, your hand finding the patch of naked flesh on my hip under my clothes.
I fall asleep to whispered words that i don’t quite hear, your lips brushing the nape of my neck, my ear.

Oddly enough, i understand completely. I know part of you has put me on some kind of pedastal – i’ve always known it. It’s the way you open my doors, light my cigarettes. The way you sometimes seem humbled around me.
The way you gently hold me when i sleep.
The way you wait for me to make the first move, yet when i do, you respond so intensely it’s as though i’m giving food to a starving man…

You are not perfect – you drink too much, you are drifting a little now that you’re back from your travels. You sometimes brag and you always want to be right. You’re still so very damaged by your childhood.
But you’re a friend – a real friend. A good friend.
You’re my friend.

And everything i love is ugly, yet so beautiful at the same time. But then, maybe that’s what love is.

I can take a road that'll see me through

Cory Monday

Chicago, United States

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Artist's Description

Another story of Alaska and me.

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