Racing the Moon

She drove through the day, aiming for the sun while running from the moon. Deciding to take a much needed mini vacation, she had stuffed a few things in an overnight bag and scrambled swiftly to her car. She had no real destination in mind, just this incessant need to keep moving, searching…fleeing, and so she did. Eventually, darkness dropped upon her and began to suffocate her momentum and still she drove. Speeding through the dead of night, her headlights cut through the blackness like a spoon through melting ice cream. While driving, she tried to remember when things had begun to change. She attempted to recall when all of the open doors began to close, and all of those unlimited possibilities, started to indeed, develop limits. With cunning stealth it crept upon her. One day she was thriving and living life and the next, life began to proceed without her. As a young woman, she had been independent, strong and beautiful. Often described as a pioneer in the vicious male dominated circle of brokers controlling the Wall Street financial district, she was applauded for her steady head and remarkable foresight. Anything and everything was hers for the asking or quite often the taking. She could do no wrong, because for her, simply making a wish meant making things happen. Quite possibly, her greatest mistake was in thinking that it would last forever, when everyone knows, nothing ever does. Even rainbows fade and dreamers are saddened to find that the heaping pot of gold they chased for so very long, holds but a few tarnished pennies.
There came a day when staying ahead of the game became a real challenge as she began slipping a bit and then swiftly falling behind. Without warning, her distractions became her obsessions. Each morning started off with a little white pill which allegedly took the edge off the forthcoming stressful day and the occasional glass of wine she enjoyed on special occasions turned into the evening bottle she consumed every night to help her sleep. Food became an addiction as she found herself stuffing something into her mouth from the moment she opened her eyes until she passed out watching television each evening. The excess weight began to smother her as it stole her confidence, self-assurance and dignity. The bathroom scale, along with her entire expensive wardrobe was boxed up and stacked in a darkened corner of the basement. An overwhelming sadness took control of her once happy existence and the simple pleasures of life became dreaded apprehensions.
The shiny black Lexus sped through the night with the moon in hot pursuit, as its determined driver pushed forward in search of answers, resolutions and solutions. As her conscience consulted her better judgement, she began to wonder if perhaps she should turn the car around and head towards home, when suddenly a notion entered her weary, exhausted mind. What is home she wondered? Thinking for a moment, she decided that home was meant to be a peaceful, cozy, safe and inviting place that is shared with one’s family. Realizing, quickly that her own residence reflected none of this, she let out an unexpected, agonizing sob, and then, just as suddenly, the tears began to slide down her cheeks. Rolling down her window, she hoped that the cool night breeze might clear her mind and transform her melancholy mood. It did not. Turning up the radio she began belting out “Against the Wind” with Bob Seger bitterly singing back up. Through the wind and the music and the moonlight she realized that possibly, the place she had left behind was not really her home at all and then she began to wonder if perhaps her real home and family was waiting for her, somewhere out there past the blackness of this strange and unfamiliar night. It occurred to her that what was waiting behind her had not made her feel safe or happy and there was absolutely no family there anticipating her return. With that revelation, a lightbulb went off in her head…along with the “low on fuel” light on her dashboard.
Pulling into a brightly lit Marathon station she glided up next to the first available pump and refilled her exhausted gas tank. Walking inside to pay, the aroma of fresh hot coffee filled her senses and enticed her to grab a cup. The first sip brought her back to life and she smiled as the warm java settled into her stomach. Upon turning to leave, she found herself standing directly in front of a wall of perfectly folded maps. Her eyes slid back and forth across the selection and settled upon a picture of a beautiful ocean sunrise on the cover of a South Carolina map. Instinctively, her hand reached for it and she carried it up to the older lady standing behind the counter. “Do you really suppose there could be a sunrise this beautiful out there in the world?” she asked, handing her a $5 bill and not really expecting an answer. The woman paused, smiled, and said with a twinkle in her eye, “Oh it’s out there missy, but it’s up to you to go and find it!” With that she handed her the map and her change.
A huge smiled filled her face and she pushed her way through the glass door to discover that she had driven an entire day and dawn was breaking. She stepped out into the parking lot and with a hammering heart, stared directly at the magnificence of a magenta colored horizon splashed with blood red shards of approaching sunlight above the whitecap waves of what must be the Atlantic Ocean. She stared with awe and amazement and for the first time in her life, she felt like she was home.
Alana Marie
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