You’ve been up for hours listening to songs repeat on radio stations fading in and out of reception. You’re tired, but you continue to drive. The roads are wet and it is dark. Your seat feels more comfortable than your bed, the one that you forgot to make this morning, but you won’t sleep. Today you went to work, just like any other day, except today, unlike other days, you were late, so late that you didn’t even have time to make your bed and you’re a neat-freak. You thought that your boss wouldn’t mind because you’d been so punctual before, but you forgot that today was that big meeting you hadn’t prepared for, just like you forgot to set your alarm clock.
Now it’s late and there is no traffic, but the commute still feels long to you. Maybe you took the long way home. Maybe this lightless road steered you off course, but either way you are lost. You are out of a job and have nowhere to go. That apartment with the unmade bed, you can’t pay for it, not without a job, the one you lost. So you continue to drive, wasting the gas that you can’t pay for and adding miles to the old company car that you’re lucky they let you drive back with.
Your eyes are glazed over and you want a drink, but you continue to drive. You need someone to show you the way home. You need light. The radio station is now pure static, like the thoughts in your head. You reach your hand toward the dial and switch it off, the radio that is. You realize you had been sweating and decide to crack a window, the sound of wind now much like the sound of static, only cooler. You can still go to your apartment, if you want. You still have the key and no one has to know you lost your job. You can buy a newspaper with the money you made yesterday and look at the classified ads. Maybe someone will hire you. Then you just have to remember to set your alarm clock and you’d have to try not to be so preoccupied. If you had been paying attention you wouldn’t have forgotten your meeting, or to set your alarm clock, or to take the turn a few miles back, but you wanted to go this way, you needed to take a detour.
Sometimes you feel like your life moves so fast, from one thing to the next, but you make it that way, or you used to, before you decided to take the long way home. Now you are on an unfamiliar road with no street signs or road lights, but it isn’t that dark. You were lost until you missed that turn. Now you think you’re where you’re supposed to be, if that is anywhere in particular, and it doesn’t matter which way you take to get home as long as you get there.
You happened to have gotten fired on a moonless night; where there isn’t much to guide you home, but you never needed the moon. You knew where you were going all along. Maybe you lost your job, maybe you won’t find a new one, maybe you will, maybe you were lost, but not anymore. Dogwood blossoms light the road.