Sunday, Rallying Words Vol. 5
I looked to my left a lot during my first time in Tallahassee. I memorized the way his mouth relaxed when he hit the gas a little bit more each time. There was a note of gracefulness in the way his hand drew patterns on the steering wheel and then on my hand and back again. I watched the way the canopy roads reflected onto his brown eyes at every turn. I fell in love with his hometown the same way I fell in love with him, in easy moments that only I noticed because he was too busy being himself.
As of late, I'm driving down my own hometown roads. Not actually driving because I grew up in NYC and my permit has spent the last 9 years collecting dust, and not miles, but all the same - I'm driving and noticing.
I'm taking the long way through stories and moments that made me who I am. I'm starting to write them down. The ones that when I walk with him hand in hand down Broadway, or when we make that turn on Fort Washington, I tell him mean something to me. Because I've navigated moments, and roads, and hallway walls that have held me up when I couldn't anymore. I've kissed on NYC corners and believed to have had my heart broken on others. I scraped my knees, yearly, on 175th street and St. Nicholas Avenue and sat through my first therapy session at 11 years old in an attic above the ESL room of a school that just a year before my mom had had trouble paying tuition at.
I'm walking through my own story because like him, when he was driving down canopy roads, it sometimes takes coming back to appreciate how those roads built you. It sometimes takes coming back with someone else to learn how those roads built you.
Having someone on your right as you explore worn roads gives you new eyes. You're in awe of canopy roads for the first time, in maybe forever. When the tires stop spinning and all that's left is time to look up at the stars that decorated the sky for you every night, you want to make sure you're not focused on taking out the garbage.
You want to stand proudly and remind yourself that every road, and scraped knee, and hopeful string of words, gave you the gift of a moment that is worthy of committing to paper. Every moment is worthy of being shared with someone, for something.
So, I'm starting to walk down my own roads. He's on my right side, looking to his left a lot, wondering where we're going next, what the next hometown stop will be. I'm behind the wheel wondering why now and where I'll find that answer.