There is something captivating about the freedom of the clouds — the way in which they trust that they will somehow float wherever they need to go, if they need to be anywhere at all. They seemed so unlike me, someone always tempted to plan and prepare for the next semester of classes to take, activities to join, or careers to pursue.
Over the past year, during the months living in my childhood bedroom, I often found myself taking aimless drives – canyon, freeway, shortcut to nowhere – discovering and rediscovering my favorite music. It is the only place where a spontaneous two-hour drive feels less like a chore and more like a gift.
The silence was in no way uncomfortable; most times, it was pleasant, even relaxing. But underneath was a low thrum of pent-up frustration, which I only became aware of every once in a while. There was so much I wanted to tell her — about my high school track meets, the school paper, later my college roommates — and so much I wanted to ask, that I simply could not.
This version of myself looks up and sees my mom’s shoulders heave up and down. I’m looking at my father’s back, and I don’t need to see his face to know that it is tearless, like mine. Only when I read these words does the memory float back to me. I described it as half-grief. Stuck in the wrong places, like sweat.