Dark & Stormy
Sometimes I felt wild and restless, like a mustang that turns around one day and realizes it’s been domesticated when all it thought it did was take the offer of a simple apple. It always started the same way, from a point deep in my center, and would grow to an incessant itch I couldn’t shake.
To soothe it, I’d been driving for days, all my belongings stacked high behind me in my small SUV. The ones I’d seen as necessities anyway, since my goal was to pare back and succumb to basic need.
I yearned for amnesia to settle on my mind and recreate me into who I was supposed to be, because at thirty-three I didn’t know anymore. I’d been so many things, so very split and so widely scattered.
If I chased solitude and eliminated distractions, I figured my true self would have no choice but to rise from the ashes of all the other roles I’d spent my life playing. And if it did, maybe I could go back home and survive the future, whether that entailed the path I’d been on or a new one altogether.
Or maybe I’d find a home here, in this small Midwestern town that spoke to me of fresh beginnings. After an hour of winding along its streets, exploring every corner, I stopped in the driveway of an old brick house that was split into four units. A large cube with many windows, it pulled at me more than the apartment building a few blocks over, or the gaping farmhouse on the edge of town, all three of which had for rent signs crookedly staked in their front lawns.
It was manageable and adorable, at least from the outside. All brick, but lighter than the standard red, with faded white windowpanes and a small covering over an even smaller front porch. An attached covered staircase ran up the left side, and an old grill stood sentry on the right.
Fishing my phone out of my bag, I dialed the number written in fat permanent marker beneath the words encouraging me to call. And as if fate had shifted the winds to drop me here, my new landlord was not only home, but able to forgo everything to meet me and hand over the key in ten minutes flat.