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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Driving on Heartbreak

It’s another moment of confusion, heartbreak, and embarrassment, but this time I’m on the corner of Barrington Ave. and Santa Monica, driving aimlessly to avoid the questions. I had found myself in this position exactly two months ago. Sunken into the driver’s seat of my mom-like Prius, blasting whatever song seemed perfect for the occasion, and wearing my dark Ray-Bans to cover up the puffy, wet eyes. I try singing at the top of my lungs to the lyrics that seem written for me and my predicament, but my pride always gets best of me. Maybe that’s leaning too far into the melodrama of sappy romantic comedies. Still, I always find myself clinging to the only tangible comfort I can find: driving.

Driving is my post-breakup go-to. I’ve developed an art, so that if I know the “conversation” is coming, I’ll make plans to drive to his place. Then I can get out of there as fast as possible and seek shelter beneath the curved roof of my mint green hybrid. The pattern is usually the same. I sit in shock for awhile, letting out all the things that I was holding in for dear life, wondering if this really just happened to me again. Then I prepare the sunglasses and ipod.

The songs are always ones that have been in my head at the time, but seem perfect for the occasion. Two months ago it was Taylor Swift’s live cover of “Nashville,” this time it was Maroon 5’s “Misery.” Unfortunately, these moments tend to ruin the songs for me, forever attaching that intense spurt of emotion to the very first note played. Nevertheless, I always blast them past normal level, and put them on repeat. Just that one song. Over and over and over.

It does always occur to me that this type of aimless driving under distress could be dangerous, but the focus on the road tends to calm me down. For just that one short hour, I’m able to be alone to my thoughts and the blaring song. I don’t have to explain to anyone, talk about my feelings, rationalize the situation. Right off the bat, I can just revel in the self-wallowing on my own time, so that it doesn’t creep back into my later conversations with friends.

The driving puts me smack dab in the middle of daily life. I’m reminded that the world is still moving, and this (yet again) misstep will seem like a speck of dirt in just a year or so. I’m cocooned in my air conditioned cave, while the world provides a silent reminder outside my tinted windows that it’s still there waiting. Waiting for me to hop over this ridiculous speed bump and keep right on driving.



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