Anywhere but here

photograph taken by Phelinne Levi

Last Friday night I found myself driving around until I ended up at this little hole in the wall. I walked in and the bartender asked me if I was okay? I looked at her angrily and asked why she assumed something was wrong. She apologized and stated that I had a worried blank expression. She went on to tell me that I looked lost on account she didn’t take me as the kind of girl that would go to a bar by myself -let alone her place of business. I shook my head and apologized for being rude and that I was fine; I just wanted to go somewhere and have a beer without running into someone I knew. She smiled and asked me my order.

I grabbed my Michelob ultra and I walked to the outside patio where I sat down at a circular, black iron table. There was a short breeze but it was humid from the summer rain fall that happened earlier that day. I was alone. Exactly what I wanted. It was quiet; so quiet outside that I could hear the buzzing from the power lines high in the sky. I took in a deep sigh of relief and I started to drink my beer. Two hours later my pack of Marlboro’s was empty and there were 5 emptied bottles before my eyes. I was intoxicated but still upset. I sat there for a moment debating on whether or not I should get another beer. I got rid of that idea rather quickly because I hadn’t a clue who I’d call to come pick me up. I surely wouldn’t be capable of driving myself home if I drink another beer.

“Home?” I remember thinking. Where am I even going? Anywhere but here. That’s when I got the idea. I’ve always wanted to drive until the road dead ends. So I remember asking myself whats holding me back and I couldn’t come up with one solid answer. So I went to the bar, paid my tab, drank a glass of water , went to the restroom, and next thing I knew I started to drive. I was happy. I was being spontaneous. I didn’t have a suitcase or a toothbrush but I had a full tank of gas. I glanced at my clock to see it was 11:00 p.m. prior to me leaving the parking lot.

I started to gaze over the shadow of my knuckles that lie along the steering wheel out towards the open road. I began to think. I’ve got a new job starting up in two weeks which means my daily routine will be interrupted and what if my first day goes horribly? I felt so lonely because my brothers and sisters live in another state and I feel that my siblings and myself aren’t close like those who live together. My mother is always a call away but she’s 365 miles away if I’m ever in need of a hug. I missed my deceased grandmother because she was always the person I could talk to about anything without being judged or reprimanded. I got kicked out of my own home by a man I loved all because I told him I wanted to marry but I also wanted to work for myself and not his company. After a 6 year search I finally found my biological father last week but unsure if I should reach out to him. He lives in a 9.8 million mansion in Bel Air with three kids ages 17, 19, and  21. I’m some mixed country girl that could cause his family some serious havoc. I’m also not 100% Indonesian so my biological grandparents would disown me if Yudson and I developed a relationship.

My mind and heart was so consumed with thought and emotion, I had no clue where I was but the road stopped. It was 12:42 a.m. and I came to a dead end at a little country store in North Georgia. I don’t know why, but I began to cry, I cried so hard my chest felt heavy and I couldn’t catch my breath. I grabbed my phone with the attempt to call my mother but I put her first. I didn’t want to wake her with my hysterical cries on the other end of the phone. So I sat there until my uncontrollable crying subsided. I noticed a reflection in my peripheral and when I turned to look I saw a sign pointing to the direction of Burnt Mountain. I wiped my face and began to drive. Another hour went by before the winding roads and sight of deer began to cease. I pulled my car over in what looked like a vacant lot. I got out of the car and the air was cool to my skin and refreshing. The stars were beautiful. I never knew there were so many. I smiled and my mind felt at ease. I crawled into the back seat of my car and went to sleep.

My windows were cracked and I could hear the early chirping of birds awakening one another. I opened my eyes just in time to catch the sunrise. I took in a deep breath with some sort of satisfaction. I did it. I actually did it. I got in the car and just drove and this is where the wind took me. I sat on the roof of my vehicle for a few hours listening to the wildlife that surrounded me while gazing upon the beautiful blue sky with cumulus clouds that met the tops of  the mountain’s trees. I looked around at the Earth, “What shall I do on this lovely Saturday?” I asked aloud.

-Phelinne Levi