Nobody’s Fault But Mine

January 18, 2011

*Give credit where credit is due.  This small flash of inspiration and the subsequent writing was inspired by On The Road, my good friend Seth, and the Grateful Dead.

I doubt this will get polished.  It probably won’t even be that good.  But it’s the first thing I’ve been able to write in a few months.  That’s all I need. *

I carelessly threw my bag into the backseat and slammed the door, keeping my eye on Neil.  It had been a long time since we had even been around each other for more than 5 minutes.  He set his backpack down carefully and closed the door, hopping into the front seat with effortless grace.

“Let’s do this!” he growled as I sat down and pulled my door shut.  I looked at him as his eyes locked on mine.

“Man, I missed you.” I said as I moved my eyes back to the steering wheel, the dash, the keys, to what I was doing.  “It’s been too long.”

“I know, I know.  I’ve been busy.” he said, drumming his hands on his lap.  But who hasn’t been busy?  Everyone has been busy, but it hasn’t been work to see them, to talk to them.  I had reached the point of not caring and had somehow bounced back to caring more than I should.  Fuck.  The engine turns, sputters, and then roars to life.

“Where we goin’?” I ask, hoping to get the conversation rolling.  It’s been months since it’s been just the two of us around each other, but it doesn’t feel awkward.  No response.  I throw the gear down into drive and the car lurches forward and we’re going, gone, on our way back.  But I don’t want to go back just yet.  I want to talk.  I want to tell him how I hated him, how I disowned him, how in my mind we weren’t friends.  I want to tell him that he’s being a dick, that his friends have been pissed, that he isn’t the Neil that I got close to.  The Neil I knew would put his friends before himself, would give himself up to make them happy.  I get my speech in my mind, I take my eyes off the road to look at him, to give him a piece of my mind, to do what I had been saying for months that I was going to do.  “Just as soon as I get the chance,” I say.  “I haven’t had time where it’s just us.  As soon as I get the chance, I’m talking to him.”

Neil is sitting in my passenger seat, his only-looks-shy-if-you-don’t-know-him closed-mouth smile on his face, his eyes alive and glowing.  He’s happy, and he’s here.  He’s my friend, and he’s riding with me.

“It’s been too long, man.  Too long.  I really missed you.”


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