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20 Miles

I sat there. Half of my body was shaded out, the other half sat in the sun. One leg was shaved, the other hairy. My razor died the night before in an attempt to become more presentable.

My white MacBook was sitting on the white tile table in the kitchen. The family cat was trying desperately to get my attention. She made her passes, swooshing her charcoal tail in my face, and stepping on my keyboard. She made it impossible not to ignore her. She was a flirt. Eventually, I had to pick her up and place her on the tile floor, putting an end to her feline temptation. A couple minutes went by. They were peaceful moments of diving into my internet self. She jumped back on the table, but this time played hard to get, lying in the sun on the other end. Relieved, I ignored her. This relationship was not going to progress this morning.

I continued creating tweets for the company I was supposed to create an identity for online. I sat there transfixed, looking at inspirational quotes and Ted Talks, all adhering to this company’s personality. It felt strange, creating lives on the internet passively. I chose quotes that motivated people to go out and live a life worth writing about. It was a copywriting company. While, I told people to go and do something big, I was sitting in the kitchen of my parents house with my morning hair and one smooth leg, the other way passed prickly. It felt as though I was betraying my own life, which was once big and even grand, traveling the world and falling in love on a daily basis. Falling in love with people and places and moments.

I walked to my sister’s old room. The walls were still the color of pepto bismol. It was stuck in the past as my sister moved on to the present in the east coast, leaving behind her stuffed animals and basketball trophies. My dad sat at the desk top IMac. There were to many apples in my life.

I asked “Do you think I should move out?”

“Taylee, you’re in the midst of an existential crisis. I suggest you enjoy the ride.”

This statement made me feel as though I were in a scene from Waking Life. The philosophical, animated film from Mr. Stoddart’s Psychology class in High School. It delved into the point of life and what reality really is. It mostly escaped our young teenage minds the minute we walked outside of his air conditioned classroom. And here it was again with ideas to big for me to grasp.

I left the house. My Toyota station wagon was parked on our steep hill, collecting leaves form the big tree above, that was uprooting the sidewalk. My red bandana was there, hanging from the rear view mirror, reminding me of the moving independent life I had not yet two months prior.

My friend called as I drove, the one who treats me as though I deserve the world, and believes it too. We talked about boys and their intricacies, and we talked about life, the big picture. We talked about where we were and where we wanted to be., where we wanted to go.

“Bubba, my old roommate, you know the one that was going to move to Brazil?” She said


“She didn’t go. And we spent a long time talking about it last night. We had a movie night that included red wine . She told me she had this huge thing happen, to make going difficult. She told me that we don’t need to make a huge transition in order to change and learn and feel rewarded and have excitement. It can happen anywhere, except maybe your parents house.”

I was slightly bewildered at this idea. All I had ever known in my adult life were huge moves and decisions and a life with dramatic movement. Maybe 20 miles was big enough this time.

We talked some more and said our I love yous and Goodbyes. I drove that Toyota station wagon a bit longer, trusting the engine with over 300,000 miles on it. I’ve always been told I trust to easily. It was a dry, cool evening with my windows down. A danceable song came on the radio and so I sang and torso danced to the best of my ability. I looked at that red bandana before getting out of the car, and beyond it a sunset as clear as on a flat desert horizon.   Ok.


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