It is the longest day of the year.
This day has always demanded something from me. It rips me out of sleep, early, too early. Just as the first light is breaking through the sky. Wake up, it shouts at me.
There is something to see here, it yells.
I’m sluggish, sticky. The hair on the back of my neck rubs against me, bothers me. I drink water, then coffee. I sit in the silence of morning, before the birds have begun their songs, before the cars have started their travel.
It hits me like a ton of bricks. We are driving to where my best friend grew up, in upstate New York. The drive is easy, there's never any traffic as we coast through the mountains. The sky is cloudy, dark and light gray swirls above us. Levi is in the backseat, his eyes closed. I begin to pass a truck on a downhill, and just like that I am back to being in college, 15 years ago. I was pulled over on this drive, coming home from Megan's house, passing a truck on a downhill
[Except from upcoming book, due late fall.] The phone rings.
He sits in the black leather chair in the downstairs of his house, the blinds beside him closed, his legs stiff. His breathing is steady, in and out, in and out.
The chair is ripped in the right corner by his leg, and his fingers toy with the black duck tape that was placed there years ago. He stares at the tv, muted, images of wreckage and fallen buildings and what he knows are screams coming out of the mout