Yesterday, on the way home from the doctor, I pulled up to a stop sign behind an 18 wheeler with Iowa plates. His mud flaps said Des Moines. I thought about following him but he eventually turned left and I kept straight. Several weeks ago, as I was leaving Wal-Mart, there was a 4-Runner in the parking lot with two kayaks on the roof. I instinctively looked at the license plate. Iowa. For a split second, I imagined it could be Wisebutters, come to profess his undying love to me. I imagined he was in the store, searching for a cheap bottle of wine and chocolates and would show up at my door minutes after I got home. We’d drive down to the river and float around on the kayaks, eating the chocolate and sharing the bottle between us.
Sometimes when I open my mailbox, I hope there will be a letter from him.
Sometimes I think about that scene in Brokeback Mountain when Jack tells Ennis “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
I wish I knew how to quit Wisebutters.
I wish I was someone worth not quitting.
I wish he wished he knew how to quit me too.
When will my heart stop aching for you, Wisebutters?
At the doctor, my blood blood pressure was so high
I thought I might die.
The nurse brought me a pill and when the doctor walked in and looked at me, I burst into tears.
“Please, can you help me?
I am drowning in my own sorrow, pain, and anger.
I can’t breathe.”
He took one look at my face over his bifocals and said,
“You’re headed for a trainwreck, aren’t ya? Let’s get you some help so you don’t get derailed,ok?”
Then he rubbed my back and told me a story about the time he was depressed.
Then I cried some more.
Then he prescribed me the entire pharmacy.
Then he said, “Stress kills, sister. You’ve got to let go.”
How do I let go?