Pines Against the Sky

6/2

Mark,
I wanted you to know that I’m in St. Louis. (I just drove. This is where the car ended up.) Not feeling as sunny as postcard picture. I’m sorry I ran away. I need some time. I don’t recognize the voice in my head anymore. The driving was nice. Very quiet. More later. El

6/8
Mark,
Decided to visit my brother in Wichita. Been here for two days. Stephen says I look better since the last time I saw him. We went swimming and for a second I couldn’t surface. It struck me, that I have been missing a deep breath for a long time. Still not sure I can get one. Unsettling. Petting Stephen’s new dog, a chow chow, makes me feel better; nothing should have that much hair. It’s like a small lion. TTYL, El

6/15
Hello,
At the Aztec Ruins in New Mexico. Whole villages carved out of the sides of mountains. They used to go into prayer pits and sit there for days. I love that idea. If I come back, we should dig a prayer pit in the back yard. (I know I said, “If”. Not sure of much yet.) El

6/17
Mark,
I’m in Colorado, at this amazing place called Mesa Verde. At night, you can see every star in the sky as opposed to the paltry thousands we see on the east coast. You really get a sense of what forever is like. Marriage is supposed to be forever, too, I suppose; though I’m not sure either of us really understood how big “forever” actually was at the time. Maybe we should have come here first.
El

6/20
M,
I’m at the Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. It’s enormous. I feel so small. But still powerful–because I was a part of something? Nature? I know I could breathe. The nights we spend not speaking, in silent… what? Judgement? Apathy? Exhaustion? Are we married out of habit? Can we fix it? Do we want to?
El

6/25
Hey there,
I’m in Boulder, at Christine’s. We camped on the mountains last night. I woke up just after 5am. The sun was a spot on the horizon, just silhouetting pine trees against the sky. It was beautiful. I’m coming home. There is a beauty to us, or at least there was. I’d like to try to find it. But if we can’t–this is important–I’m willing to fail. I want to mean something to someone. I hope it’s you.
Love, Me


This is the fifth and final post of flash fiction week IV.

Ceil Kessler is a writer, analyst, marketing and social media consultant, and lover of home-baked banana breads. Read her other work at ceilk.wordpress.com, or here at the Nose. Follow her on Twitter at @ceilck. The pics used here were taken from an actual cross-country trip in 1989, when she had more free time and fewer life-molding decisions.

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