Before stepping out of the sun for a couple weeks visit to MA before Alexcia moves to Minn., I have crossed the state line into Texas. I look back over a map of America barely believing I have wandered so far. It is a feeling that feel good deep inside. Touching Texas the walk becomes real to me.
Two days of driving and I am under water with no air in my lungs. A new diamond is on Alexcia's finger, and my Airstream, motorcycle, truck, one room log cabin, and all my worldly belongings need to find a new place to call home until the walk is completed. As of this writing I have no idea where I can turn so that I can complete this walk without racing to get done and preserve my aanchor of possessions, or get sunk in worry. I have begun to brainstorm, afraid that my feet are at a standstill until I can tie this down. The walk has taken care of me; actually the walk has empowered me to go beyond what I thought to be achieveable. This too will pass I am certain.
All of my attention though is my swollen heart set on Alexcia's finger, combined with her moving away from what was our home; the place where our lilacs by the doorway bloomed, fields where many trees sway because we set them in the earth, Alexcia's hand over mine. My head is on trying to reason with possions that make me want to grab the matches to rise a fire to heaven until I am left in shells and ash. In my lungs there is already the smoke of it. I miss the horid heat of LA. that was followed by the grace of a cooling evening and a people that always wanted to help, the simplicity of one foot behind the other in a perfectly smooth pain that I have come to love, the joy of knowing nothing except that tomorrow will be another town with faces pressed against my life with an original want to know this living dream of a walk. I am drowning in a water that I have no idea how to traverse so I go under again and again, smiling weakly over a glass of merlot I can't remember pouring as Alexcia stirs something rolling in spice in the pan two burners away. I am told by Alexcia's father that I have till spring to regroup and take my things away from a barn he built for our aniversary. He talks and I can not taste the food Alexcia cooked. His words and tone change mid-sentence. 'The sooner my shadow is off their step...' becomes what I hear whether it is said or not. He looks older, less formed of stone. This last year has worn away at him. I tell him a story from my walk about Lance Armstrong. He stands blank. Even after all these miles, all of my new courage and change I stare at my plate as I talk instead of his eyes. Even in all of this change in me some things come slowly. I chew pasta that does not need chewing, wait on swollowing, and look up at Alexcia that reaches for me with her eyes. I reach back over a space that contracts and expands like breathing.
I think of early mornings, bird songs, living nearly a year with so little in pack or pocke. Last night strangers came to look at the huge koy and shabumpkins goldfish Alexcia and I raised together from specks to a weight of over three pounds each. In days a car will come with garbage cans full of water and nets. The fish we sipped coffee over, our feet wet with dew, garnished with fresh grass clippings, will struggle, get caught, and then forget us. Little deaths. I think of Kola and Bisbee that burrow into my legs with gentle grunting for love and my touch on their heads. Kola's face now is laced with white hair that was not there when I put on my pack in leaving. When these dogs also pass away like these fish that now swim below me in red and orange sputters of light turning back to shadow, the only children we raised together with a startling amount of love, all will be undone. We will be broken like so many plates.
I look at Bisbee and worry about this living of life. Now on the couch I rub him with my foot as he whispers his yearning met. Alexcia and I talk about a cabinet that she wants to pull out of the wall to take west. It is still lit with her glassware. That cabinet was a whole day in mounting as a snow storm held us home, held us next to each other all day into night some four years ago. I ask about the diamond I gave her as if I want it back. Her eyes are wet. It is not a ring I want. It is my bleeding of all of this heaviness.
Driving away from her house that has no lights on, the house that still watches everything, I mouth a knuckle on my left hand as I drive, consider, regret. I know already that it is fruitless as I re-work Alexcia's words explaining her heart again to me because she knows that I am under water and can not hear right. It was just an hour ago before she assended the stairs for sleep that she sat down with her words bunched up like flowers that reached out for my hand. From the house to the car I have lost some of her words. I look back across the grass up to the door, but it is dark.