Gale of Regret

I’m one of the last few people at the bar again, my head slack in one hand, the other gripping my whiskey. I’m so tired. I can feel the weight behind my eyes, heavy on my face. If only I had just gone home sooner.

I had never wanted to stay home. I ran as soon as I got the chance. And now I’m sprinting back, as if that will make up for my early departure.

I remember the days we yelled at each other. We weren’t a broken pair. I was young and he was harsh. He pushed me because he loved me. But I didn’t want his motivation. It wasn’t mine, it was his. And so I fled. I left him. I left them. It was enough to make me run away. I couldn’t stay there anymore, in that beat up, broken down old house. I had seen enough sunrises, wasted enough cloudy days in the fields. I needed to be somewhere new, somewhere they couldn’t find me. Somewhere they couldn’t force their motivation on me. I needed to find myself, my own motivation. And when I stopped running, I met the love of my life, even though she doesn’t know it.

I remember hearing the news on the TV, and it barely crossed my mind, what it could mean for me. For him. Until I got the call. My beautiful, strong mother. Alone.

My strong-willed father. Gone. Off to war. He’d already done his time.

I should have been there. I couldn’t even take his place. I can’t tell him what I have accomplished without him. Not without him, just without his pushing. He was always in mind. He became my motivation. The driving force behind what I thought I needed to do for myself.

And now he’s gone.

I loosen my fingers from the glass, slide off the stool. And I go. I keep running. Except this time, I’m coming home.

 

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Gale Song.

Side note: It’s been so nice to get back into any sort of writing that isn’t academic. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to write, to tell the unwritten story of someone sitting inside my head.

I have grown a new appreciation for The Lumineers because so many of their songs inspire me to write scenes that appear in my head because of their ballads. Truly inspiring. Even if it’s nothing special or dripping with talent, I feel like I am liberating someone that has been pressing on my mind, desperate to get out. To be heard. To be understood. It feels good.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

Autumn Rain

The sky is gray again. Maybe I could sleep all day. You’d think my hollow chest would allow me to float – somehow it’s drowning me in my own bedsheets. You’re with me wherever I go. On the leaves that trickle down on the wind. The click of heels on concrete, your red high heels you used to wear when you wanted to dress up and pretend we were rich. I can still feel you on my skin. Your warm cheek on my chest. Your bare stomach under my own. I curl into the blankets a little tighter, knowing I can’t let myself think of you anymore. But I’ve been trying to forget for months. Cigarette smoke drifts in through the window, and I feel my chest caving. I glance out the window at the waving red trees. The colors of fall inspired you. People walk by, their clothes drawn tight to them. There must be a storm coming. But a storm is already here.

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Slow It Down.