The Road to Monterey

I was nervous about our reunion, afraid his feelings might have changed. Yet he held me tight when he saw me, and we talked for hours over late night breakfast at Denny’s, where the coffee is always hot. When we fell into bed, it felt to me like coming home after an exhaustive journey to a faraway place. Fever held within gradually released, hungry hands and mouths seeking and finding, replaced by trust passing through layers of body and soul all mixed up together. The following night I asked for the words. Do you love me? Absolutely. And I sighed with relief, all was right with the world.

The next day we grabbed a coffee, headed north out of San Luis Obispo. We thought about taking 101 all the way to Monterey, and my mind flitted briefly to Steinbeck and Cannery Row, and flop houses where hookers were groomed to be wives. But I got the stupid idea to go look at studios instead; I thought it was what we both wanted. But that night he told me, I don’t want to make plans of any kind right now. I just want to work and take each day one step at a time, Ok? I agreed, and drove back to Oregon, where the days pass much like they did before, except now when he writes to say, Nothing’s changed, he’s careful to never say I love you or even to say I miss you; too afraid, I suppose, that doing so might give me the wrong idea. It feels sometimes like we’re going backwards, until I remember that we have never been here before.

So I follow his lead, putting my right foot forward as his left goes back, wishing for Audrey Hepburn’s grace, my form shadowing his. Letting him set the pace and holding on ever so loosely, just enough to keep the connection. He makes occasional reference to us in the unveiling of his soul, as only a true poet can do, letting the frayed edges of his hope slide across the face of my beating heart. Reminders that there are no formulas, or calendars in love, only roads that sometimes take unexpected turns, with yield signs, or miles of traffic that hamper your yearning for speed; sometimes closed for construction, sometimes newly paved. Reminders that it might take more than one cup of coffee on the road to Monterey.

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6 Responses to “The Road to Monterey”

  1. This is a lovely piece, particularly the last paragraph and these words: “letting the frayed edges of his hope slide across the face of my beating heart…”

  2. Thanks for stopping by Pamela. I appreciate the feedback.

  3. It’s funny the different things a person can take from a piece of writing … for me it’s not the easy flowing prose in this piece that holds my interest … it’s the line …

    … we talked for hours over late night breakfast at Denny’s, where the coffee is always hot …

    The emotions and visualizations that come from this one line that draw me into the writing. How many life stories are told over a cup of coffee in Denny’s and the likes? Nicely penned thoughts …

    Incidentally, you drove through my neck of the woods in SLO county …

    Tim

  4. Tim,

    Yes, different things strike in the heart of different people. I had no idea you lived in central CA, beautiful place… thanks as always for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  5. True that we all find something different that strikes a chord. For me, it was the line…

    “It feels sometimes like we’re going backwards, until I remember that we have never been here before.”

    It underlines the essence of falling in love; the wanting more, and yet, not believing that it could ‘really be happening to me’

  6. You’re right, the wanting more is powerful, the not knowing how to get there a challenge… thanks for visiting.

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