24 July 2009

Lightning, or Something...

I may have more to say about the rest of the trip later, but we just got back. We drove something like 640 miles today. I expected my mom would want to stop in Rock Springs; she didn't. Then I figured she'd give out at Kemmerer: nope. We made it back at about 9:30 pm, just as it was starting to get dark. I think we were both sick of hotels and wanted to be in our own beds.

Anyway, that has little to do with this post, other than the events occurred on the trip. I suspect that if it weren't for the ruddy "terminal" notification, the only result would have been a wave of regretful nostalgia, which would have been over almost instantly. But being under stress already, something just snapped inside me when we were in Grand Lake. The moment itself was more one of shock (mixed in with other stuff), but afterwards it felt as if something had broken loose, snapped, inside me.

There was a little bit of buildup to it: nothing major, nothing that one might expect to lead to someone snapping: my mom hates miniature golf, and I've always loved it. There's a miniature golf course in Grand Lake, and we walked by it, and I jokingly suggested we could play. It would have been better, I think, if she'd just said "no." Instead, she came up with all sorts of convoluted garbage suggestions, including that I "adopt" one of the little kids already playing to play with. At that moment, I was annoyed, but otherwise fine.

Then we finished walking down the one major street of Grand Lake, and drove down to the lake itself. There were kids out learning to sail, people in rented pedal-boats, kids building sand castles: pretty typical of the place. What wasn't typical was that I was suddenly angry. Not with the people there, not even with my mom in particular, but just angry. It took me a while to figure out why. I have always, always, wanted to rent one of those pedal-boats, or take a sail-boat out, or...or any number of things, and I've never had an actual opportunity. My mom won't consider any activity even remotely physical, and, when my dad was saner, he just thought it was a waste of time.

It was like the day just died before my eyes, right then and there. I turned around and walked back to the car without saying a word, and, more unusually, without even taking any pictures of or around the lake. It took me the better part of two days to get over that feeling of emptiness and isolation. For whatever reason, the drive back home helped quite a bit, as did a hike later in the same day. On the hike, it occurred to me that there might be a career option open to me that would let me do things that I love while maintaining most of my freedom. I don't know if a year is enough to establish myself sufficiently to make a living at it, but I'd like to try: photography. Most of the later events that helped clear the angry fog revolved around light and color and imagery, too, so I think there may actually be something there. I might also just be going insane, but it's better than feeling like a rather large chunk of scar tissue has been ripped out of my heart and a piece of leather nailed in its place.

So that was my last two days. Time will tell if that was a useful thought I had after having my heart ripped open or just a desperate grab for something to hold onto.

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