True solace is finding none, which is to say, it is everywhere.
- Gretel Ehrlich
She left me this morning, walked out the front door and didn't look back. It was 3:51. I stood behind the glass door and watched her go. The sliding door of the minivan opened and swallowed her up, fleece and all. She left me for another, a trail, Barr Trail. It is the most common route up to the 14,000 foot tip of Pikes Peak. I don't know how long she'll be gone.
I know this leaving; I've done it before. There's no use in looking back, waving. Something out there is waiting for you and you've got to set your face like flint and leave, walk out the front door, drive away. In some ways, I know what she'll see today: the sunkissed eastern plains of Colorado, the reservoirs full of water so blue it hurts your eyes, the trees charred by lightning. Then again, I have no idea what she'll see. This is her time, her trail, her leaving.
She called about an hour ago: I'm a little cold, but o.k. Call you at the top. When we first met, she was wrapped up in Liz Claiborne and the naivete of 20s. Things are different now, she is different now. She's on the backside of thirty and knows what a bite me valve is - do you?
Another call, minutes ago: There's snow up here.
She promised to come home. I know this promise. But things will be different, she'll be different, more different. She'll be closer to a native anarchist, showing no interest in false appearances, orderliness, or the art of making money. I know this anarchy.
I read somewhere that good marriages go through a number of divorces over the years; there must be leavings and coming homes and newly spoken I do's. I find no solace in that thought, which is to say, it is everywhere.