Once I ran away because I could. That’s the best part about being an adult, you know. A credit card and a full tank of gas will take you anywhere. Distance is easy. Apply foot to pedal. Don’t stop. The hard part is forgetting who you are and letting yourself go.
Those winding, cliffside roads meant slowing down before turns and speeding up after. The weight of my body shifting to the side and down low as I took corners tight and fast. Brake. Turn. Gas. If a piece of machinery can have a soul, then I felt it in my little old lady of a car at each turn.
No cellular reception meant no GPS, and no GPS meant being completely, brilliantly, fantastically lost.
I reached a seaside town. Population 800 or so. Checked into the cutest bed and breakfast (are B&Bs ever not cute?) nestled beside a used bookstore. I bought a book. An actual book with pages to turn instead of screens to swipe. And on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, I sat down to read.
“Several years passed, and Essie was no longer a thin little thing: now she curved and billowed like the swell of the green sea, and her brown eyes laughed, and her chestnut hair tossed and curled.” —Neil Gaiman
I don’t know why I picked up American Gods. Maybe it was the cover. Maybe it was the back cover copy. Maybe it was one of the few books at the store that didn’t look dated and dusty and intellectual.
I’d like to believe the magic in Gaiman’s writing exists in real life. His incantations composed of everyday words strung together to make things come alive in not-so-everyday ways.
My words and I don’t get along. I’ll be the first to admit I have a broken relationship with them. I run away then come back then run away again. Discipline keeps me writing every day, but while writing does not make me happy, it brings me joy. A peculiar, quiet, deep kind of joy that keeps bringing me back home.