Packing is always the first step.
What to take? What to leave?
Too much stuff. not near enough time.
I've only got five minutes, and once I'm gone
I have to stay gone.
Fumble. Rush. T-shirts. Underpants.
Money from his safe? Bingo.
He deserves it and so much more anyway.
Everything. Everything plus the plane ticket
hidden in the hole in the laundry room wall
for weeks after one of his most recent outbursts,
all zipped into a too small backpack.
The metallic click click of the knoorknob jiggling.
Out of time.
There's a window in the back.
Heart pounding pounding pounding.
Hands sweating like nothing ever before.
They say adrenaline makes you stronger
I swear to God I'm the only thing that's
He knows, then. Probably knew since last night after
one of the worst brawls we'd had in a while.
He'd been hitting the booze, of course.
Window's up and I'm through it.
He sees me. He's grabbing for me probably
but I'm already worlds away.
Through the woods. Two miles.
Didn't even bother to close the safe.
It's hanging open on the kitchen counter.
STUPID STUPID STUPID
If he hadn't been planning on chasing me then,
he definitely was now.
Flying. That's what I'm doing.
I don't have feet anymore.
I'm a bird.
One and half miles of foliage and soft mud to go.
One and a half. Think I might die.
Brightest it's ever been.
Don't know how I've gone this long
without realizing how loud it really is.
I jerk my thumb every which way
to passing cars. Jump up and down
like a crazy person and wave my arms.
a car stops.
Big and green and sparkly.
I step in. Looks like a hippie driving.
Long, greasy hair down to his shoulders
and a medallion on a leather thong around his neck.
Hand him a fifty dollar bill for his trouble
and he tucks it away in his jacket.
Tell him I need to go to the airport.
Tell him to floor it.
We're burning rubber and everything
is a green blur on my side.
He doesn't speak and I can tell by his mellow
sort of demeaner that he's a person of few words anyhow.
We make it to the airport in no time at all it seems.
Couldn't have been more than ten minutes.
The guy must've really known I was in trouble.
Been told my face is an open book.
Never really put much thought into it until now.
Probaably saved my life today.
I step out. Tell him I appreciate is more than he knows.
I'm turning and leaving
and a hand grasps my wrist and I freeze.
He's moved to the passenger side with lighning quickness.
With his other hand he's digging around in his jacket.
He pulls out the fifty.
Shoves it in my hand.
Slams the door, and with that same quickness
hops right back into the driver's side.
He looks over.
The passenger window comes down.
He gives me a look I can't quite make anything out of.
Kind of a mix of every emotion.
Can't remember the last time I cried,
but I feel like I really might right now.
He hits the gas and he's gone.
Just like that.
I wish him the best of luck, too.
God, I sincerely do.