Laura and Oscar: Week 14

A Crossroads continued...

The next day we spent the afternoon together, and I showed her as much of my town as I could. We stopped by the coffee house/art studio which formerly housed a medical clinic downtown in the old days when the heart of the city was in bad shape--now revitalized by the arts district, a triple bypass, and a pacemaker.

The next day I spent working and unexpectedly she was staying another day which gave us another night, together. We chatted over spicy Spanish Tapas and cold iced tea, and she poured out her life and I listened in amazement at the terrific experiences of her life. It was getting late
; I had a full day of clients in the morning and one thing I’ve learned from working with people in therapy is you can’t drag through your day. The amount of mental focus required to listen, truly listen for that many hours takes an incredible amount of energy. So as much as I wanted the night to last into the next day, I forced myself to drive her home, but not directly. I paid the bill and weaved my way out of the crowded restaurant almost losing her in furor of whirling waiters and chatty shiny plastic women. She emerged a little disoriented from her trip to the powder room and I guided her out of the noise and the chatter, back onto the street into the warm summer night.

I helped her into my truck. Which is a shiny 4x4 Jeep with dark tinted windows, with
over-sized tires and custom rims that makes some people think I’m a drug dealer, when a cop pulls up to me and sees me smiling holding my current registration, proof of insurance, and valid driver’s license they usually give me a pass. We head out down the road listening to music; I take the surface streets which takes a little longer but so much more satisfying. Driving by old buildings and familiar streets that have special memories for both of us. I over shoot the way to her folks house and end up on the last main road, Hollywood which is the side of town we grew up on. This road Hollywood was carved out of the foothills leading to Sunrise Mountain. Whenever I come to this side of town “The Eastside” my mind is flooded with images and experiences of my childhood and teen years that help me to reflect on just how far I’ve traveled without even leaving my hometown and I have a deep satisfying sensation of victory as I catch myself glancing into my own eyes in the rearview of my truck. With the Vegas skyline getting smaller in my rearview mirror we climb in elevation then make a left turn on to Hollywood Blvd. We are now traveling parallel to the mountain range.

The night air has begun to cool from the hot summer day and she wants to feel the wind in her hair. So I help her as she fiddles with the controls and we open all the windows which is considerably cooler and relaxes me. Then she dives across the console to hug me and giggles with delight. Then her attention catches the song playing on my radio “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay
. Without asking, she cranks it as loud as she dares, looks at me with a slight expression of asking my approval. I smile and crank it up even higher, percussing my steering while she throws up her hands and dances in her seat, and we sing the chorus together. I drive her to the only place I can.
 

...to be continued next week. 


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