Chapter eight. Highway 80 west stories.
Chapter by Coyote Poetry
Life can be hard. Can be fair also.
Chapter eight. Highway 80 west stories. Findingsome kind of peace.
I ran more hot water in the large hotel bathtub. I go to back to washing her long auburn hair. She relaxed in the water watching the dancing bubbles. She turned to me and asked. “Is love real. Do we have reason and purpose for being alive. My father worked for 40 years and he died overnight. He never prepared me for his death. What do I support to feel?” I took a deep breathe and told her. “When I was in Kuwait. After my sister told me my grandfather had died. I needed time to grasp. I’m still. Death isn’t for us to understand. I lost two brothers to suicide. It pissed me off so bad. I disappeared for three years. It wasn’t a good thing. I wrote poetry and story. I went back to school. I closed all doors. Not good to play dead when you are alive.”
Lana eyes were filled with soft tears and questioned me. “Johnnie, you won’t let me play dead. Are you? Will you leave me in Reno and forget me as soon as you get back on Highway 80? I don’t want to be a burden. Maybe you have a girlfriend, responsibility and a good life? Maybe I’m dead weight to you?” I poured warm water on her hair. Moving my hands through her hair to ensure no soap is left. I caressed her shoulders and told her. “You are not dead weight to me, honey. With you I have reasons and purpose to be alive. I will hang around you as long as you need me. Today you are mourning. You need to mourn and you need to. I have no-one anywhere. I joined for the war. I wanted a suicide of a sort. I volunteered for every dangerous mission. Death didn’t want me yet. Maybe you are right. It was my destiny to find you on Highway 80. The last few days have been my best in many moons. I hope I won’t let you down. We have a lot of decisions to make. We have time. Tomorrow I will take you to the Salt Lake city “Family History library and the Mormon Tabernacle. We will take some pictures, buy a few books and have some fun.”
I got one of my Desert Storm shirts and gave her the shirt to her as she dried herself off. She put the shirt on and asked me. “Do you think I’m beautiful? I see in your eyes. You like to watch me bathe and get dressed. I want you to want me. I need to be wanted.” I took her hand and took her to the bed. She laid on the bed with a sweet smile. I covered her with the blanket. I took my clothing off. I joined her on the bed and caressed her face. I told her. “If we have sex. Everything will change. Sex don’t heal the heart and don’t make things better. In a few weeks if you still need Johnnie around. I will hold you and never release you from my life.”
Lana smiled a sad smile and told me. “Johnnie you are a brave man. Maybe a saint? I agree to your terms. If you promise to take me to Monterey. If even for a few days.” I whispered to her. “We will drink Irish Coffee and roam the beaches. I will write a million words for you. I will take you to Monterey. Maybe we can find some sort of peace?”
Lana fell to sleep quickly. She held me tightly like a stuff teddy bear protecting her from demons. I caressed her forehead when she shook with bad dreams and memories. I wondered what would I do with her. She was educated and have great possibilities. I was no-one. I was searching for death and I found someone who needed me more than dying. I guess I will roll with the flow. Poor Lana is young and strong. I learn a long time ago. Woman decide what they need and want. Men just believe they are in control. I will hope for a good landing. I close my eyes and I tried to find sleep.
© 2014 Coyote Poetry