Friday, March 15, 2013

Road Rage

I felt pure rage. I had been sitting on a razor's edge ever since my mother passed away and now I discovered what he had been doing when I wasn't home. I broke inside and burned within. I grabbed my laptop, got in my car and drove. It was my last resort.

I had to work that morning, even though it was a Saturday. It was easy money tutoring the groups of groggy students that came to Curtis High School for Regents review, and, on that particular morning, it was the escape I needed from a home that felt like it was crumbling around me. With my seatbelt on and radio blaring I peeled away from the front of my house hoping that the screeching tires would wake the one who rested within not knowing that I had discovered his indiscretions. I was grateful for the empty highway as my fiery tears filled my eyes, but not nearly as grateful as I was to the deejay who selected the next song: Papa Roach's Last Resort. I cranked the volume until I felt my speakers shake and pressed my foot even further into the gas pedal.


I screamed as I reached one hand up to open my sunroof.



Next, I opened all of the windows with their automatic buttons as I pulled off the highway, feeling vindicated, feeling heard. I was letting the world know how hurt I was. The lyrics repeated, and so did I, not caring about all of the quiet homes I passed on the beautiful street where I once found such peace during my college years - in another life, another time, when she was alive and the world still made sense. 

The song talks of suicide and I think, Will it get that bad? and vehemently deny this possibility. I deserve better than this. Life will get better, but right now I'm

 ...losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine
Losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine
Even though the truth was, I only wanted one person to tell me I was fine. The one who couldn't tell me. Not then, not ever, because she was gone.

I never realized I was spread too thin
Till it was too late
And I was empty within 

My mind wandered as I raced through the streets, paying little attention to stop signs, lights, or any of the niceties of driving etiquette. I sang along in a daze of rage, angry with him, angry with God, angry with myself, wondering how I got here, when, suddenly, I sang a line I never truly heard until that moment:

It all started when I lost my mother...

It did all start when I lost my mother. I wouldn't be left alone in that home we shared if I hadn't lost her, if he hadn't lost her, if we hadn't lost her. I wouldn't be left with awkward silences or situations that only I could clean up. At the very least, he wouldn't have done what he did if she were alive, she wouldn't have let him.

I wound through the ancient streets lining the neighborhood of the high school, still blaring the music, pushing a bunch of buttons to close all windows as I pulled in next to the building.

Nothing's alright
Nothing is fine
I'm running and I'm crying
I'm crying
I'm cryi--

I slammed my fist into the radio's power and swept out of my car all in one motion. 

I needed to get inside. 

I needed to get to where the world still made sense.

I needed my classroom.

It's wasn't until hours later, after I had washed away my rage with sanity of adolescent nonsense that I arrived back at my car finding the window open, the keys in the ignition and the car still running. I stood there, overwhelmed with emotional exhaustion, and began to cry.

Finally. Tears. That's all I needed. No more suffocation. I'm breathing.  

It was time to face the music. I drove back home and faced him.
The Scintilla Project

 This post was written in response to a prompt provided by The Scintilla Project. The prompt I chose to use today was:

Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

I really love this song.


  1. AY. this hits really hard, and i'm glad it found it's way out.

  2. I'm realizing now that this needed to be written.

  3. Painful, but beautiful. Sometimes music can be the release we need.

  4. Thank you, I remember this as a very cathartic experience. Necessary, but I came so close to losing my car!! Scary.

  5. JulieJordanScott2March 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    What an incredible story. Wow. Wow. Wow. Until I got to the part about your Mom I was sorta grooving along remembering the scene from The Perks of Being a Wallflower and then kabam. I was gone.

    Beautifully written AND beautifully lived.

  6. Thank you, Julie. I guess it is no surprise that I broke down when writing that part. So many emotions.

    I STILL haven't seen Perks, though I loved the book. Now I really can't wait to see it!