This Lonely Hour
by Seamus Kearney
I suddenly notice how tightly my hands grip the wheel, and how my foot feels as if it might actually push through and touch the road. My body and mind are saying, ‘How could you be so dumb again?’
The word then changes to numb. That’s what I feel as the wind comes in through the windows and tries to cleanse me on my long journey home.
My body and mind don’t understand the hope I refuse to let go of, that some day I might not have to drive home through the pain of these red early mornings, the remains of nights cut open and left to bleed.
It’s often my own fault. Hell, the one last night even told me before we left the bar that I shouldn’t expect breakfast. I asked if I had to go before his kids got up. Before his wife returned. He stopped laughing.
I did end up slipping out before he stirred, to avoid any painful silences.
So, exactly how many times have I driven home at this lonely hour, having failed to actually pass over into someone else’s daytime? As always, I tell myself it’s over. Never again. No matter how charming. No matter how much I see in the eyes.
But later, after sleep has repaired me, I know there will no doubt be more red dawns. After all, it’s the heart that’s carrying all this hope, that’s leading me in all of this.