This is how far I was willing to walk: up to the brick-lined steps and the rug, up to the door, but not in. I wouldn’t lift my hand to knock, or even ring the bell, or call your name. The phone in my pocket would ring, and it would be you to ask, again, again, “Are you here yet? Where are you? When will you be here?”
And there I would be on the bristly mat staring pie-faced at your door, and the phone in my hand would go ringing and ringing, and I would just walk away into the anonymity of sidewalk traffic, noise, and strangers washing cars at the ends of their driveways.
There should be a reason, I know. I ought to figure this crap out before it turns into ugly silence and unexpected strolls through bad neighborhoods, alone, after dark. When it all thickens up, I’m running from you. That’s the main point, I suppose. But the places it takes me– the edges of quiet pink suburbs with their blooming lantana and jasmine beds, the chain link fence of the dump when the dogs have gone dumb with heat and kibble– there’s something about those little solitary journeys that feels like it’s mine, and I can’t give it up quite yet.
Maybe one day I’ll walk beside you, to a little shop or a burger place or a park. We’ll argue about where to go until one of us gives in, and then we’ll go, and we will be fine. But tonight I want to walk up to your door, stand on your rug, and let the phone ring me away into someplace new.