Where do you go when you close your eyes

I’m only a few minutes into the new year when I’ve decided I’ve had enough of humanity for the night and I should probably go home before I become what is affectionally known as a “major fucking buzzkill.”

My tolerance for the drunken antics of overgrown toddlers has definitely waned over the years, though to be perfectly honest, it was never that vast to begin with.

I’m on top of the parking deck, trying to find my small car in a sea of overly large SUVs when a glint in the distance catches my eye. Oh. Fireworks. That’s right. Huh.

Despite all the revery below, it’s quiet up here. The air is finally getting chilly, the occasional gust providing a slight whistle every now and then. I’m alone and looking into the distance where the darkness is punctuated by tiny colored pops and crackles. Everything is immediate and nothing is.

I somehow manage to get out of downtown in that special frustration induced stupor that comes with wanting to be home and being blocked at every street corner by bodies flinging themselves at your car. I’m on and then off the Loop again before I finally allow myself to hear something other than my muffled cursing. I have no idea what’s in the cd player but it’s better than whatever I’m coming up with right now.

Where do you go when you close your eyes? Where do you go when you dream?

When I was a kid, it was always my version of Hawaii. Some place warm, with a breeze and color palate that I liked. In my undergrad years, it was the Caledonia on a Thursday night with a good shoegaze band, echoey guitar bouncing off the walls of a near empty venue. I don’t dream much anymore.

I see a white picket fence and a house on the hill. It’s from there I can see the lights. You know I’m just outside of heaven…bout a good country mile.

But when I pull into my driveway, I’m struck by that chorus and I’m back again on a night long ago in the 40 Watt, feeling that same yearning I felt on top of a parking deck downtown: Wanting to be home and realizing that you’ve been looking at it this whole time. It’s just that last bit that you have to go through before you can put your key in the door.

So I sit for a bit in my car on the hill, looking at the lights in the distance again and think about this little virtual home of mine. So much has changed. There are many things I just don’t do anymore, like write, draw, or dream.

And yet…

Sometimes when I close my eyes…

I can see the lights.


You can listen to my personal favorite version of “A Good Country Mile” here at Southern Shelter.



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