BY STEPHANIE JACOBS
There’s a curve on the 101 near Santa Barbara that tempts me into suicide.
I’ve only ever driven it in the dark as I make my way back to LA from Santa Cruz. I leave my daughter in the forest that they call a university, and I make the lonely trek back to the City of Angels. Sometimes I think the angels are begging me to drown.
The night sets in.
The sky fading from pale blue to near white to pure black. The hum of the tires rolling across the road lulls me into melancholy.
The ache deepens as I make my way southward.
Last night, the rain was falling. Streaking the windshield. Glazing over my view. I felt the curve coming. I know when I’m near the bend. It’s in my gut, or maybe my bones, or maybe my brain. The GPS screen shines its arrival. Brown to the left, black roadway, and then blue stretched all the way to the right of the screen and beyond. The road precariously close to the ocean. One strong tug to the right, and I steer into the blue.
The sea, she moves and crashes and fades. She rises and falls. She soothes you, knowing full well she can swallow you whole.
She’s simple and vast and loud and soft. She whispers of ancient stories sunken in her depths. She screams of turmoil left behind and soon to come. She’s darkness and light and perfect peace. She begs you to love her and understands when you don’t.
And the guardrails are low. A curve taken too fast, resist gravity, flip the railing and land top up inside her. Cold water soaks clothes and chills bones. Terror seeps in the windows. Regret a distant memory that can’t quite be recalled.
The curve widens. Window cracked open enough to allow in the fishy, salty mist, begging to fill nose and throat. Tears streaming their own salty blend down cheek and chin to land on chest. Sunk in this moment. Navigating turns that ask to be ignored. An easy tug of a wheel is all it takes.
Rounding the bend, faces come to mind. Those who are young and old and in between who would taste their own salty lips should the night take such a turn.
Mind wondering about itself and its weaknesses and injuries and expectations and decisions.
Spinning wheels gripping the highway. The pull of gravity. The longing for peace.
The sea and her angels reminding of salty escape.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.
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