Departure Points

The sun was rising this morning when I pulled out of the parking lot. I stopped, shut off the headlights. They were the wrong illumination for the dawn’s tease of wild places lingering silent with the buildings, and exhaust, and the early morning rush to work. There was a touch of pink and gold to the sky, a touch of blue. Black branches scratched a fringe of distraction above and behind the rooftops, as if some better, fuller existence was right there just beyond my grasp, not quite line of sight. I consciously turned the wheel to the left, away from the ocean and the air traffic control tower faintly visible in the distance. I crossed the intersection to the streetlights, stopped again as the metal rush and roar of wing and engine trailed overhead. Places I am not going. Work. It is to work for me.

I sit in David’s chair. “David has gone to Spain,” she says. “Back from France two weeks. Away.” She doesn’t like it when he travels, his car moored in a parking lot, leaving her for Logan in the freedom of the dark. She is alone.

I listen to her blood pressure, her heart, record the beats on paper, ask, “Did you take your pills?”

“This time he’s gone three weeks and it’s a long flight back,” She shows her anger, a subtle shift of dulled to something momentary, then a sinking return and flat affect.

She moves slowly. I wonder how much, how many times, the shocks that rendered her free of the drowning and inconsolable sadness; her life of spiraling depression. I wonder, was it worth the loss to not recall the journey.

I sit again in David’s chair. “Did I tell you,” she says, “that David’s gone to Spain?”

“No,” I smile, “you didn’t tell me. Will he be gone long?”


Roselle O'Brien was born, lives, and writes in Boston.

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