After nearly a week of breezy beach days the weather cooled and it was time to ramble home. Sarah and I spent Friday driving up the coast, both of us wrapped in sweaters, strip malls and barbecues, the sun setting green and blue behind pine forests, the enormous moon cutting ribbons across marshes, windows down and the headlights falling on cornfields, driveways.
We arrived to her parents’ house in southeastern Pennsylvania late that evening and slept heavy under quilts, spiders building thick webs outside, her parents warm and smiling on the couch, pizza left on the counter.
Early the next morning I set out into great fog with abundant sunshine behind, scooped Steve from Easton by way of the godforsaken Whitehall Apple Store. We crossed over water and concrete, drinking coffee from tiny cups, laughing, and reunited with Sarah and dogs and some of us napped and some of us did not nap. Thus began Bearica’s 24 Hours in Brooklyn.
All for the birthday of Mike Shea.
Sweaty sticky dance floor and low lights and cousins in hats and Roys in stripes and everybody laughing teeth showing, whiskey spilled all over my hands on the way to Mike Shea and, afterwards, dense rain soaking us through, Sarah and Steve and I struggling to brush our teeth through giggles, and Roy came home later, his wild hair cutting a familiar silhouette in the bedroom doorway, telling tale of the forty-five minutes that had elapsed. Falling asleep smiling of my Pokemon.
Morning was slow and fast at once– 24 Hours it not such a long time– and Blum and Blake came and later Kat, and we sipped coffee and laughed over cartoon mice and real life mice and bicycles and poetry, pens and books about Nebraska.
And then it was time to go, and I drove away waving, watched them cross the street in my rearview mirror, Kat riding her bike beside me for a block or two before slapping my window and darting down streets not on my course.
I crossed bridges and the sun fell low as I passed into Pennsylvania, tree-lined highway, sky dark with clouds, towns familiar to loved ones. Silver Car found my parents’ driveway just before dusk fell into evening, leaves over gravel, a pumpkin outside.
Momcat and I shared eggplant and the stories that had elapsed since we had last sat at that table, and we Skyped with JQ, and the cat came.
And too soon it was time to carry on, and I spun back onto the dark deserted highway, headlights cutting through the dense fall nighttime, holding conversations with the road and with myself and with others. So few towns to pass along the way.
I found Jake through twisting roads in an anonymous Pennsylvania valley, passed by the house twice before Ellis flagged me down with a flashlight. And many minutes later, we were home, and Olive screamed and squiggled and squealed.
There is much to do.