I met a friend for Vegan breakfast this morning, and took a road less traveled. I’m used to taking 45th to grab kimchee fried rice, but today I took 43rd to grab an acai bowl. I’m rarely ever on that street – yet something about those few blocks looked oddly familiar. As I passed by a coffee shop with a Giants mural on the wall, about a dozen butterflies had a head on collision with one another in my stomach and I remembered. He used to take this route to drive me home in the mornings. One hand on the wheel, and the other on my thigh with the music too loud. I can’t say I don’t miss it. I can’t say I do.
After we stopped seeing each other, as with most bad break-ups, everything reminded me of him. The things we enjoyed together, I began to resent alone. I felt like a foreigner in my own neighborhood, and a stranger to my heart. I would take inconvenient routes to avoid his house, and when I wasn’t driving I’d make sure to look at the trees or down at my phone to avoid seeing the front door of his house. I used to love kissing him at the front gate before we’d go inside.
But what does one do when you can no longer avoid the unavoidable? When you can no longer continue to take detours or drive around the wreck someone else left behind? You drive through it.
Live it. Learn it. Love it. Until you memorize that road like the back of your hand, and you can drive it blind folded in fifth gear. Until a street is just a street. And eventually, you’ll be able to get out of your car, and walk. Maybe even stop to smell the flowers.