Restless

Tomorrow I fly to the District of Colombia with my wonderful mother to take in the sights and history of the nation’s capital and more.  We are both tremendously excited; it’s hard to believe it’s here.  I’ve been planning for some time.  However, it’s on the eve of this event that I’m filled with a strange restlessness I can’t quite pin down.

The day started out just fine.  I got up earlier than normal (for a Saturday) and met my old friend Richard at my favorite breakfast diner in town.  I backed his newest novel via Kickstarter and it had finally come in.  We met, talked, and he delivered his book to me.  It was a good way to kick off the weekend.  I got home, started some laundry, and did a little tidying.  At some point, I decided that I was going to spend my day catching up on The Walking Dead, which I hadn’t been watching since the series kicked back into gear in February.  The friend I’ve been watching it with has not been available.  Since I was going to find myself in the position to watch the finale tomorrow live for a change, I’d get ready for it.  So I watched all five episodes I’d missed all in a row, with a short break to go to the store.

I didn’t feel anxious when I went to the store.  I decided to get some hot dog buns so I could grill what I had left in the fridge; being gone for the next week meant I’d been eating my rations down to lower-than-normal levels.  It was an easy, quick trip and the weather was perfect for riding.  Got home, grilled, and kicked into the last episode.  It started some time during that, I think; once it had wrapped, I lay on the couch and started wondering what I’d forgotten.  I had a sudden dread that I’d forgotten to do something.  I chalked it up to pre-travel jitters (which happens to even us most seasoned folk) and decided to finish my chores.  I walked out back to put the grill back in it’s place when I looked up and noticed the beautiful, fading sky.  The sun was setting and the building clouds were about to light up.  I went back inside, grabbed my keys, and darted for the car.

I got in and took off downtown, eager to get a few good photos of the skyline in the sunset.  However, as soon as I pulled out of the driveway I was talking myself out of it.  “You’re too late” I told myself.  I’d missed a literally golden opportunity by sitting inside all day.  I sighed as I turned around and headed back to the house.  I looked up to the sky once more and, just as I was pulling into my driveway, figured it was worth a shot.  I pulled BACK out and drove downtown — only to find I was, indeed, too late.  By the time I was among the art deco, the clouds had faded to a deep blue and the sunlight was on the horizon.

I was so angry.  Not really at myself, though that was part of it.  Just a general irritation.  I was cussing the endless stoplights and felt my blood pressure escalate.  I drove home, muttering at what I felt was my own stupidity, and pulled back onto my street.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a lovely juxtaposition of the light behind me and the dark clouds ahead; I snapped a picture and was satisfied.  I pulled into the house and sat for a moment.  What in the world was wrong with me?  I had nothing to be upset about.  Everything was okay.  Even my concern from earlier was needless; I was already all packed and double-checked.  If’ I’d missed something, surely it was minuscule.

When I came back inside to finish putting everything away, I looked at the table and saw a book I had finished reading a short while back, and my anxiety returned.  The book, called ‘A Spot of Bother’ is about an older man who thinks he is dying and is slowly losing his mind.  It’s written as a dark comedy and I’d wanted to read it as I enjoyed the author’s other book.  But when I’d finished this one, I was almost disturbed by it.  I dismissed it as a book I just didn’t enjoy, but now I see it as something a little more.  There’s a passage where the main character tries to cut off a piece of himself that contains the skin condition that originally convinced him he was cancerous and dying.  The mere thought made my stomach lurch, regardless of the frivolous way it was written.  I can’t get the scene out of my head.  On top of that, here’s a man who was sick, didn’t want to be taken care of, and preferred not to tell anyone how he was really feeling; this man was my father.  Was Dad slowly losing his mind, alone in his apartment, watching old home movies time and time again?

I really miss him.  Maybe that’s the basis of all this.  I’m about to take Mom on a wonderful vacation, to a place she’s always wanted to go.  Would I still be doing this if I hadn’t been awoken to the fact that I could no longer do anything for my father?  I hate feeling like all roads lead back to him.  It’s not fair.  Anyway, this is rambly enough as it is.  I’m very excited to board the plane with Mom in the morning and be there when she sees the dome of the Capitol for the first time.  I have so much to share with her.

I’m sure I’ll check my bags at least four more times, too.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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