We drove back to the US border. 10 hours in a day. We said goodbye to the giants with snow caps and welcomed the swaying grasses with feeding cows and horses back into our lives. We slept in the car that night with sweat staining our faces and fatigue entering our joints. A fatigue that reminded us of our success.
We drove from Montana to North Dakota. It was another ten hour drive. We washed our faces and brushed our teeth in the bathroom of a gas station that is specific to north dakota. I had never heard of it. We came back out to the car. We drove. We talked about feeling different from others. He asked me why I sought out therapy. I told him about my past. He simplified it. We talked about his simplification of feelings and life in general. We talked about my complexity of life and the intensity of my feelings. We sat in our car under an enourmous sculpture of jumping deer on a highway that has been deemed enchanted.
We watched as locals drove to the same spot and ran out of their car first squating and unzipping to pee and then scampering around in circles giggling. And we knew a secret of what went on at 930 on a Saturday night in the town of Gladston. The locals left as they did donuts in their car on the way out and we were left to ponder what we just witnessed. I stuck my head out the window to look at the stars and he laid his sleeping bag out in the back on the folded seats. And there was a new comfort between us after the drudging up of differences and pacifying them with our words and conversation.
He went to sleep as I wrote everything down that just occured because it is these moments that need to be recognized. These breakthroughs of being different but more than that being ok and even excited by those differences. I went to sleep curled in the front seat in a sleepingbag that was donated by two people who are now mutual friends. They were once friends of my cousin’s and then they were mine and then they were his. I fell asleep in our friends’ sleeping bag and only thought about where the locals were doing donuts now.