...where the music is like water rushing through you ... your function is really like that of a hose



Lena stood with her back to the fire, her hands perched in the comfort of her hooded jackets front pocket. Gazing out over the vastness of the mountain skyline, she hummed the tune that bellowed from the speakers of the pickup truck. The tin cup at her feet had been the vessel that kept the wine cold, but had also been the originator which stirred feelings from the summer before. She nodded her head to the music and gave a deep sigh, turning her torso back and forth, she eventually dropped her head back and stared directly up into the night. Her peripheral vision displayed a circle of jagged mountain tops, tipped with a silver glow from the shine of the slivered moon. The conifers in the valley in which she stood casted a thousand tiny points of darkness that were too numerous to count; nor could she number the shimmering half- truths that fluttered in the sky beyond her reach. The banjo plucked a somber tune she was all too familiar with.

The lonesome sound of the train goin' by

Jack stood up and stretched. He walked up next to Lena and placed his arm around her shoulder and kissed her forehead. Lena uttered a small moan and her heart sank even deeper. The memories, they lived in her, and would never allow her to forget. Music can encompass just about every emotion we have. Combining place and time, it weaves together our past. Like your childhood school house, once you walk back through those doors everything is viewed through your child’s eye. Oh, the smell of the floors. The soul is a recorder of moments, a conscious memoir that, when revisited, will surface to some as they lay waiting to die and to others who review such as a matter of habit. Decisions shape us and inevitably steer the route in which we sail, but we move forward. We write our story. Lena felt the warm manifestation of guilt rise from her stomach and warm her face. In the morning she would be gone.

She was two days from the campfire now. A ranchers daughter, returning to the scene which had once been her life.

Memories of the city lights penetrated her thoughts in second by second flashes. She couldn’t focus on the road. The hills of Pennsylvania stretched for what seemed like forever to Lena. She rolled her truck into a quiet county stop where she would fill the tank and nothing more. There was no impetus to eat and a map wouldn’t be needed. She knew where she was going. A trout headed up stream; she remembered exactly how to get to Boston. A red door awaited her and a young mans face which she hadn’t seen since a rainstorm last summer. Lena slumped her shoulders and raised her chin. She shuttered at the thought of the words she screamed which played over and over in her head. Another hill.

Lena last left the high plains of the Rocky Mountains when she was nineteen. There wasn't much she hadn’t done in her home state. She wanted to move somewhere new, a place to start her own, just like her father had done a generation before. His land was beautiful and provided natural simplicities only found forty miles from Denver. She loved the ranch and all it had taught her; a simple life. A life of pickup trucks and barbecues, hands and the soil. Nonetheless, she chose to begin a new, and in doing so, removed herself from everything she had known. Even at her young age she knew that the blessings and tragedies of life have little to do with location, but she told her father and so it was. With her fathers blessing, Lena would move to the city and there, during her last semester of college on a cold winter night, she met Morton T. Smiley. It was love; the artist and the ranchers daughter.

There were no wide open spaces in Boston, no chores in the early morning, and the church's were made of stone. Lena would stay after finishing college. Morton was seemingly convinced that if he kept working the circles and concentrating on his work that he would get his break. He tirelessly tried to reinvent himself. Lena always imagined she would move back to the mountains after school, but she stayed. Hopelessly tied to a man that she secretly wished would give up on his dream. She never could tell him. Lena was restless, always hearing about how things were picking up and about all the possibilities. The showings and the networking. Never any calls back or positive reviews. She hated to admit it, but love wasn't enough. Her inner biology wanted to have children. She wanted to get married. She wanted a house. She wanted a different life. It crippled her. Not in this city, no more one bedroom apartments, no more possibilities, no more stupid paintings. Lena wanted security. She wanted to move back to the high plains by the mountains she grew up next to as a child.

It shouldn’t have happened like it did. It wasn’t what she envisioned, but when emotions are hidden for as long as Lena’s, she couldn’t help it. Seemingly possessed, she exploded in anger at Morton for all his foolish dreams and about the family she wanted to have. She left it all in the kitchen of the one bedroom apartment on the south side of town. Everything that bothered her about their life together. Morton didn't really say much at all. He stood motionless and listened to the person who he loved tell him that he was a failure. No more promises Morton. You cant just sit in this apartment and daydream. You have to wake up. She cried and pounded on that kitchen table. The same kitchen table that presided over their first home cooked dinner date after all the boxes had been unpacked. I work two jobs and what do you do? I’ll tell you what you do, you drink coffee and talk your talk about how deep and riveting your work is. That’s not work Morton, you’ve never worked a day in your whole life! The son of a doctor, Morton never wanted to be one himself. I can't live this life, walking these sidewalks everyday. Face it Morton, it’s not going to happen. You’re not going to have a gallery… the Fort Point Morton? What a laugh! What are we doing? How are we going to get ahead and raise a family? Morton moved to Boston to study art with no particular zen mantra as to why.It just never ends with this, we can't do anything fun, we’re too broke to do anything with our friends and my father…this isn't what he imagined for his daughter. You’re just pretending...

The mountains winded down. The lights of the pickup truck illuminated the road ahead.

Memories of the city lights penetrated her thoughts in second by second flashes.

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