I was heading out on the road. alone, for a meeting. The sky was blue, my music was shuffling in the most perfect way and I stopped for fancy coffee like some sort of damn professional. I can do this. I am a person. I am more than a whisper.
I felt my tired body recharge with a sigh of solitude.
Three hours alone in my car with my thoughts and my music. HOLLA! I was happy, shuffling the Indigo Girls and no one else because they are all I need for this sort of sojourn.
I got there an hour early so I stopped for lunch at a random diner I found on Yelp. It was packed. Packed full of gray haired women. I sat alone in a quiet corner.
Everyone was eating chicken salad, contentedly chatting. The waitress didn't know what to do with me when I ordered the portabello sandwich. She never told me the special. I think it may have been chicken salad.
I started to lose my vibe.
The pretending got too heavy.
What am I am doing? I clutched my water glass, lonely, drained.
I made it to the meeting very early, hopeful, sweaty, and there was talk about reach and frequency. It was approved. All of it. I did my job.
But there was one man. One. Seething. Angry. I watched him and could not place his anger anywhere but inside. I was a shell, empty and too easily filled.
I could just leave this place and be back to myself. Why do I have to take it in. But you know how that is. I'm not much different than any of you.
It stays and it festers.
We are sponges and we soak up all the energy and then we move on like nothing has changed us even when it has, in desperate, giant ways.
It was dark and pouring by the time I got in my car to drive home. My windshield wipers weren't working so I couldn't see the road and the semis were zooming past me and i felt his anger all over again and i could not go on.
I could not go on.
So maybe i was crying in the Comfort Inn parking lot. Maybe i had lost.
I wanted to call my mother. But of course, i couldn't.