She did not awake at 5:30 a.m. with the intent to completely abandon all elements of the life she had lived, relatively well, all considered, for the past twenty-nine years, but that is precisely what she did.
She simply left it all behind.
Denver got up that morning and readied herself for work in the familiar panic she was accustomed to. Night dried hair- the red brown of coffee grounds- tamed and twisted into an acceptable if not perfect bun. Irons and blow dryers were for those who managed their time more wisely. Slacks were picked up and then discarded from their overflowing pile on the bed- her silent, judging partner. They kept getting tighter in the waist. The disrespect. Makeup could wait. Or be forgotten. She had to go.
She then began her routine, thirty-five minute commute. But as she approached her exit- 34A Turner’s Bank- for reasons not wholly apparent to even herself, Denver kept on driving north for a good four hours, at which point snacks and a bathroom break were more than in order.
Though she had not planned this absconding from all ties and responsibilities on this otherwise most ordinary of Tuesdays, she also could not feign complete and utter surprise at her actions. Discontent, subconscious or otherwise, had a way of manifesting itself in odd ways in one’s life. The color had been waning from hers for longer than she’d care to admit which she found equal parts pitiful and unacceptable. Her world, once filled with fulfillment and vibrancy, had gone to pathetic shades of gray. It wasn’t clinical depression or any other condition in need of medical attention or pills, but rather a persistent and profound need to realize her purpose. That much- though admittedly very little else- she understood.
The wondrous and overwhelming beauty of the unknown, ripe with possibility. That’s what drove her- quite literally now- not a desire to shirk obligations or ties, yet of those she had few. She simply wanted to feel alive, to remember what sheer anticipation felt like. Every day that she arose before the sun came up and drove back to her tiny dwelling after the sun went down, without being afforded even a glimpse of the great golden orb, stole a little piece of her soul. She needed to see the sun, to feel its heat on her face.
She had slowly become disillusioned with her new position despite all of its bells and whistles in the form of salary increase and full benefits. She was undoubtedly more than proficient at entering figures and putting out fires and had easily fallen into a rhythm. But complacency and happiness were not the same. The bank was a great place to work but that was exactly what it was- work- and all it could ever possibly be for her. She ached for time and freedom to get lost outdoors or in words- her own or those of an American classic.
After an eight to ten hour shift, she’d come home and diligently sit in front of a blank page or, more often than not, a glaring screen, and wait for the inspiration to come, to push through all the other detritus floating around and focus, if only for an hour or so. But it was simply impossible. It felt like her arms were weighted down, her keyboard miles away. A cop out perhaps, but still painfully accurate.
She partially attributed her writer’s block and utter lack of motivation to the drought Florida had been experiencing as of late. She had watched with pained helplessness as her grass went from a spring green to a light brown and then to a bleached shade of sorts that, if she were pushed to name, she’d refer to as sand. The gardenias she was so proud to have planted herself, her pride stemming from the fact that she never planted a thing before, withered into husks- perhaps in solidarity with the grass- in spite of the fact that she violated all written and verbalized restrictions and watered them freely. Everything around her had been turning to dust.
Long ignored signs from the universe.