Journaling • November 17, 2006

“You ever notice how they skip every other parking spot, man,” he chuckles through a raspy throat, “like their cars are claustrophobic or something.”

How does he know that word?

I pulled into one of the open spots, leaving an empty space between me and the next car. He was right.

We were at Brandolino’s, a local guitar shop. I was on the clock and about to go play in a guitar shop with one of my students – how cool is that?

I work for a social service agency with people who have mental and physical disabilities. This Saturday was Rob’s birthday and all he wanted in the world was to play something loud and distorted.

He hadn’t had any of his disabilities before the accident. His motorcycle flipped, with him on it, a combination of poor riding skills and a ton of LSD.

“How long have you been playing, son?” the store clerk asked.
“He doesn’t.” I answered.

For the next 20 minutes, Rob filled the store with random notes, not quite adding up to a chord, but not solo’ing either. It was a mess. An amplified mess. But Rob couldn’t stop smiling.

Back in the car I told him it was time to actually get to work. We were supposed to be returning applications and applying for a handful of positions he found last week. He tried to complain a little, but was still too excited from rockin’ out. He popped open my glove box to grab his pens and papers.

“What’s this, man?” He pulled out a notebook covered in stickers and gel pens and housepaint. “Somebody really fucked this diary up!”

He chuckled again and tossed the notebook back in the glove box.

I had almost forgotten about it. Rachael gave it to me before I left. I was supposed to write the ending, her ending, our ending… but hadn’t even read it yet.

“Watch your language, Rob.”


She had filled the whole journal save for the last two pages. Those were supposed to be mine and I had done nothing with them. Nothing with her, since leaving. I should give her a call. After work.

What time would it be there? Oh, same timezone, different state though.

Hopefully she’ll recognize my voice, or the area code. I don’t want to have to tell her who I am. She wouldn’t forget, would she? I forgot. Why couldn’t she? Well I forgot about her journal anyway, but not about her.

Rob points to the next strip mall, “I think this is the stop, man.”


Originally published in Timezones & Statelines.

Enjoying this piece? Send a donation on PayPal or buy me a coffee to help me continue making more stuff like this.