Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
March 04
Rancho Laurena Rustic Arts
A wanton young lady of Wimley, Reproached for not acting more primly, Answered, "Heavens above! I know sex isn't love, But it's such an attractive facsimile."


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SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 1:26PM

The Escape

Rate: 18 Flag

I dream of driving with no clear destination in mind. East, I’ve decided, toward my tenuous meandering roots; I shall head east. Wrong age and wrong sex to go the other way, after all. I’ve been sick again, sick enough for the walls to close in on me, sick enough for my hypercritical self-examination to go into overdrive. I need to get away from myself.


My flight instinct is strong, has been since I remember. I was always trying to get away from her, away from her anger and the maelstrom it blew through us all. When I was seven, I took a seashell, a lovely seashell that I had convinced myself I could sell to live; and, in a teary fury, rode my bicycle eleven miles to the nearest town. Once there, however, I had no clue to my next step. I rode back, told my father what I had done. “I hate her, she’s mean.”


As the years passed, I repeated this behavior to the point of ridiculousness, learned every groove and pothole on that highway to Rocky Mount, let the escape encompass more than her, let it subsume my shortcomings, my mistakes, my inability to face a world with consequences. I’ve run away from me more times than I can count.


After I got married and had children, I ran away less and, when I did, I took a child with me, Jessica coast to coast and back during a horrid time in my marriage, Robert around the southwest when I couldn’t abide my locale. Sometimes, we all ran away together, though I doubt they saw it that way. Their vacation was my run from normal. I’m not cut out for normal. Too much normal and the need to run bubbles up inside of me until I feel like I will simply burst from my own skin, leaving behind a puddle of flesh and fat reminiscent of bad horror flicks.


But this is no flick; this is my life. And I am bubbling. I dream of driving east. East, until I see the Atlantic, until I walk on the jellyfish-strewn beach and feel the humid, mosquito-laden air, until I smell the spraying salt and hear the crackling sea oats. And I will sit there and drink it in and wish I could stay in that moment forever. But moments are not finite. I’d have to eat to live, thereby allowing the normal to seep in again, not to mention the guilt, and the need, but not necessarily the want, to come back home. 

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escape, self, travel, family

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I think my lonely solo trips help keep me sane. One of the songs I listen to while on the road is Joni's Hejira, coincidence or irony it seems to fit. I hope you can escape to health and contentment. Best of luck sweetheart.
I understand this. I moved a lot for many years, sometimes to a new house, sometimes a new city, new state. Several times to a new mate.

My therapist called it the "geographic cure." She said it rarely "cures" anything. But at least for a moment it feels very good.

I'm always grateful that you write, in any mood, because your writing is always a gift to us. But I do wish you enough escape and transcendence from the ordinary to scratch that itch, at least for the moment.
Barry, a solo road trip sounds wonderful. In fact, I was going to take a mini-one today but then someone needed the truck and I gave it up.

Susan, I knew you would and thank you.
Hi Lauren... you kind of quit posting around the time I showed up. So, didn't know what I was missing. Run East!
Best to you and your family..
Solo trips are wonderful. I find it very meditative and a good way to renew a ragged spirit.
Some people think I'm crazy to drive 400 miles in one day to get my hair cut. I know you don't.
Thank you all. Yes, Julie, I totally understand. I just need to get the courage to say I need it while holding up to the waves of guilt and recriminations.
Since I wrote a book called "Solo Traveler," you can understand the resonance of this, the head-nodding as I read. Just beautiful writing, Lauren, and boy can we feel your yearning. I hope it comes true just as you dream it, and more.
I'll think very hard about Brigantine Beach for you dear.
It's the place where I feel the sea knows enough to lay out that salty, healing blanket.
Your words ring so true for me too. I have gone on spur of the moment journeys to places I did not plan, just got in the car and drove.
I went as far to the east, west and south as the road would carry me but never north, at least not yet.
rated with love
I also "get" this, for it is something I used to yearn for and do. At a rocky juncture in our marriage about 8 years ago I considered running for good and found myself a great therapist. Her admonition from the beginning was that my instinct to, "get the hell out of dodge" wouldn't do me any good, because anywhere I ran, I'd be there.

I don't want to get into specifics, but I developed a plan of where I wanted to be, and with work, I've arrived at all but one place I outlined those many years ago. For a long while I stopped wanting to travel, even, which I considered a good sign.

I dug myself a good, deep hole a short while ago and planted myself in it, reminiscent of those times 8 years ago, but I am digging myself out. This time I knew how to do it.

Oh man, I'm the same way. My last flight was in July to Ft. Collins, CO fleeing living in a 5th wheel with a grouchy husband. I don't think I'll ever change, just the destinations do.
I live for those runaway times. I like audio books when doing so. I like to be alone and moving; it doesn't really matter where. I understand the feelings.
This is just gorgeous writing of painful introspection and need, and courage too. Come East, my friend, we'll walk on the sand, breathe in the ocean air and renew our souls.
I so totally get this, what a wonderful telling of your therapeutic wanderlust. R
Try something new, turn westward and be with the mother of all oceans, the great Pacific. Here at the edge of the world it's not hard to learn that we are but ants in the grand picture, and the vast beauty surrounding us is not just a promise but a reality.
I am an East coast girl born and raised. Yet I hear the whispering of the west calling me, teasing me to stick my toes in the Pacific again soon.
I love the way you write and I understand the longing to move...~r
Oh boy, do I get this, although I've never been able to describe this need to get away from oneself as well or as honestly as you do here. If you do run East, stop by to pick me up. We'll escape to the sea oats together. XOXO
Oh yes, yes. I totally relate to this urge, this need, to get away and escape. It helps and calms and gives me the distance I need to come back.