The Journey Begins

Our great adventure across the country began on a humid 96 degree Tuesday. Three men, who I knew very little but would come to have great respect for, loaded all of the possessions of our home into nineteen linear feet of a twenty-eight foot trailer. Tom, Thomas and Lawrence sang, strained, and shifted our furniture from its resting place to its well-packed new home.

They were modern day locomotives, churning along in the heat of the day to help us begin our great new journey to Colorado. The day was fraught with joy and sorrow. The banter between the moving men kept us going as we loaded box and sofa and bed. The house becoming noticeably empty as each piece was removed and our footsteps echoed on the hard wood floor.

The heat wore our bodies down while the emptiness wore on our emotions. It was hard to leave, and I remember finally standing in the doorway fighting the urge to close the door; staring into the now bare house that had bourn our triumphs and defeats for the past three years. I will remember the sound of the back door slamming against the frame for a long time to come, for my heart fell as the latch clicked into the slot and the handle refused to turn for my hand once again.

Numb, tired, grungy we drove in silence to the hotel that would be our home that night. Having sold one of our cars to friends that same day, our woundedness was almost greater than we could bear. We had said good-bye to too much, and now we are homeless shacked up with my parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle in Charleston, South Carolina; the only place that seems hotter than our home.

It is Friday and we fly back to Richmond in a few hours to begin the drive across the country. I look forward to it on one hand, but there is something nagging me that I am not able to process yet. I have wept for friends, for colleagues, for safety and for home. I have yelled and patronized and rationalized to make myself feel better, but for now there is only emptiness. I am as cavernous as the empty home we left behind, a shell waiting to be inhabited or claimed.

The reality that school is frightens me to the core. I am a student once again and it feels horrible. I can sense the old, rational self bubbling to the surface once again. I can feel the disdain for feelings and connection well up in my being. I will not let go of what I have become, that is my hope. I do not want to be the student I was, I need to be the person I am. But for the moment, I am homeless, wandering, frightened, but not alone…



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