Thursday, March 15, 2007
"West of Hell"
I packed my backpack with my favorite comics and some leftover crackers from the kitchen cupboard. I hung it on my doorknob waiting for the stillness to fall over the tin can we lived in. Running away seemed so much easier than listening to fighting night after night, the sound of broken glass against paneling becoming the decrescendo to the nights festivities. There is only so much blame that one girl can take for the inadequacies of a marriage. My mother sauntered down the hall drunk and pissed off, noticed the backpack on the door. “Planning on going somewhere?’ she asked me sarcastically. “Would you notice if I did?” I gave back. “You’d never do it for real anyway, I know you,” she said. She turned around to go to bed and the smell of alcohol smacked me square in the face, gave me courage. The trailer went dark and quiet, and I slid into my clothes without noise, lifted my pack without rustling the comics, and I opened the backside door to freedom, to the chill of desert night air, to the hope that I might get somewhere, anywhere, but here. I latched the door behind me and headed west of hell. Without knowing why, I ended up at the old man’s Airstream trailer down the road a ways. I sat on his front porch, the plastic grass causing friction on the ass of my jeans. I felt desperate, exasperated by my life. I rolled up my pack and lay under the desert broom in the yard, knowing all the while that I would go back there, knowing that she did know me that well, not wanting to face the wrath that would now be deserved. Suffering by my own hand seemed better than suffering by the hand of another. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 To be published by Rural Messengers Press 2007