Can I Become “Un-Lost”? *Pretty Please*

I maneuver the car swiftly through the intersection as the water sloshes near my tires.  It hasn’t let up since I awoke this morning.  The thirty minute drive extends to forty on the river highway of 495.

“Where should I meet you?” I ask as she picks up after the third dial.

“Just pull into the garage,” she responds.

I find a spot quickly and put the car in park.  A quick glance in the rear-view mirror reveals disheveled hair and smudged eye makeup.  A sarcastic *perfect* mumbles out of my lips.  I grab for my purse as my phone buzzes loudly in the middle console.

I select the answer button, impatiently, assuming it’s her, but as another her’s voice grazes my ear, I realize my haste assumption.  “Hey mom,” I reply softly; my laundry list of to-do items scurry around disconnectedly in my brain.

“Hi sweetie,” she says.  “I read your latest blog post and you seem a little… disheveled.”

“Oh no, mom; I’m fine.” I respond.  “I just wanted to write about being in a blogging funk, since it happens to a lot of people.  That’s all.”

Since, you know, just because I write about being in a blogging funk doesn’t mean I’m actually in a funk…

Right?

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This past week, The Nester challenged us to come up with an “un-word” for 2014.  An un-word is a word that you are rejecting for the year.  It is a word that you are not.  In fact, you would like to un-do it.

At first, I didn’t know what to write about, or if I would write at all.  Because me, with my disheveled hair, haste phone call pick-ups and blog posts about being in blogging funks – I mean obviously I am perfect.  Plus, I already wrote about my real word for 2014 – so why come up with an un-word?

But, as I tried to write this week and failed at that too, I realized that lately I’ve been feeling a little… lost.

I’m currently in limbo at work.

I’m intermittently attending the gym this month.

And, my blog is being… funky.

Suddenly, I discovered that probably the best possible thing that I could be doing is coming up with my un-word for 2014.  So, ladies and gentlemen, here it is…  For 2014, my un-word is lost.  As in, I would like to become un-lost.  Some of my life events (like work) are a little out of my control, but hopefully with a little more focus and concentration, I can improve my gym attendance, blogging lifestyle and, overall, get myself out of this little lost funk I’m in.  And, this will hopefully include letting you in on a little secret about this here blog too… Ooh foreshadowing!

Now, I’m off to go find my makeup remover….

*Have you been feeling funky lately?  What is your un-word for 2014?

The Night Train

It purrs softly in the dark of the night.

“Hurry!,” A. shrieks as I press my foot on the clutch and shift into third gear.  We’re a half mile away from where the pavement curls up to meet the wooden and metal tracks that divide our town equally in half. The lead foot in me wants to beat it before it starts howling.

“Did you see Ryan and Marissa’s fight last night on the OC?” A. shouts over the screeching as I slam on the brakes.  We fail to hit the safety gate by inches.  I let out a slow exhale.

“I missed it,” I say.  “I was working on a paper for AP European History.” Why, again, did I take AP European History my senior year?

“Oh,” A. responds.  “You have to see it – Marissa just can’t understand Ryan’s past and forgive him for that comment he said in last week’s episode!  I just don’t get it.”

Truth be told – the OC has been a favorite of my group of friends for a while now.  Most weeks, we gather at one of our family’s houses to watch it together.  The show’s drama, the clashing personalities, the underage mistakes all feel eerily familiar somehow.

The train is billowing past us, at this point, as I look off to its smoke in the distance.

I can’t help, but wonder where it’s going.

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**

Seven minutes later, we find ourselves parked in front of A.’s boyfriend’s friend’s parent’s house.  A distant relation we sought out for a night of acting far beyond our age.  His parents are either away for the evening or highly ignoring the situation on the first floor of the home – details worth avoiding, for now.  My heel stabs a crinkled beer can as we exit my dad’s red candy apple sports car.

We step into the house softly as a wall of stale Natural Light and lingering cigarette smoke smacks us in the face.  I recognize about 5 of the 26 youth packed in  like sardines around the living room table.  Half empty cans, strewn about the family photos and fabric floral displays, decorate the room surrounding them.  One of the familiar faces wraps his arm around me.  “Hey, so glad you guys could make it!,” he whispers, far too energetically, into my ear.  Did he even know we were coming? I think. But, I take the compliment, anyways.

A. holes up in the corner with her boy as I realize I’m in for a long night.  A few failed attempts at meaningful conversation and finding a beer pong partner later, my mind starts drifting.  At home, stacks of college pamphlets wait for me on my bedroom floor. They’ve been there for weeks, but I hardly tend to notice.  I’ll look at them someday.

The reality is that I’m terrified to read them. I want so badly to stand still in this moment, and let the world circle around me.  I want to refuse to leave the familiar.  I want to refuse to let go of everything I’m holding on to in this hometown of mine.  Who can let go of episodes of the OC and random people’s houses?

One of the strangers stands up shakily.  “I think I might be sick,” he mutters as he slips out the back door.

**

I drop A. off at home and steer my dad’s car back to our home a few blocks away.  As I turn on to one of my hometown’s busy roads, I hear its whistle.  Another one purring in the distance, just a little more seductively.

I enter my parents’ front door and make sure to dead bolt it behind me.  A custom ritual never forgotten.  As I glide past the stack of college pamphlets near my bed, I grab a couple to look at in the morning.

When the next train comes to town, I want to be ready for the ride.

Got a moon and a billion stars
Sound of steel and old boxcars
The thought of you is driving me insane
Come on, baby, let’s go listen to the night train
~Jason Aldean

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The Spartan Race and protein powder giveaway winner is entry #5.  Jordan – please look for an email from me!!