“Sweet child o’ mine,” my mama cried. She knew I had to leave. I was driving on Diamond Road, leaving Abilene had a hole in my pocket with a picture in my wallet. On my cell phone, my sister, Crystal said, “If it makes you happy. It’s only love. Besides, a change will do you good.” I proclaimed, “All I wanna do is smile because I can’t cry anymore.” I didn’t say it, but I thought; it wasn’t a beautiful pain. It’s more like an ugly sore.
Run, Baby, Run keeps playing through my mind. It was going to be a long trip. Stopping at a small motel in route, I turned on the TV and the Weather Channel came on. The weatherman said, "Soak up the sun this weekend. It's going to rain on Monday."
Every day is a winding road, I knew it was time to take the wheel and travel down the road, heading to South Carolina. Maybe Angels were singing Hallelujah. The radio was turned down low. For all I knew, it was going to be a Blue Christmas. Amazingly, I did NOT fade away. I wasn't going to fade away!
At Cross Creek Road, I stopped at a warehouse store. The Members Only sign caught my eye. I pulled out my card and pushed my cart down the aisles. All kinds of people were shopping. Happy snacks were on sale. With three boxes and some beef cheese sticks from the cold cases, I headed towards the checkout. Sweetly, the cashier, Marie, cheerfully asked, "Did you find everything okay? "Oh Marie, everything's okay!" I sighed.
Afterwards, I filled the car with gas. I was back on the road 700 miles from my new home.
His message played, "Leaving Las Vegas!" But! It was a perfect lie. Everyone knew that he couldn't leave his drinking and la baraja tables. Back then, I was always on your side. Truly, love is a good thing; but when love dies, it’s time to move on to a new home. Alone! All by myself, it’s going to be good.
Honestly, my favorite mistake was believing you. Seriously I am over you and no longer by your side. The light in your eyes is real gone. You can burn this bed for all I care. Nothing more needs to be said, "It’s a sad, sad, world; maybe, it’s a tombstone blue!"
Needing a rest and a relaxing break from the road, I stopped at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. An old Steve McQueen movie was showing on the movie channel that night on TV. McQueen, who clearly didn’t believe in a redemption day, was a free man and didn’t have a worry in his head. Before my eyes closed for the night, I heard him say, “The first cut is the deepest.” I was out like a light that night.
Awaking the next morning, the radio played, “There goes the Neighborhood.” Snoozing crossed my mind, I showered instead.
Obviously, no one said it would be easy. I know. Good is good. In fact, I am strong enough. Naturally, someone will say that I am out to prove you wrong. That’s not the case, I shall believe in me for a change.
Now, Riverwide is down the road. Thirty more miles to go, my future is ahead of me. No longer blue! I’ll have a white room with a view of the sea. It will make me happy. Just you wait and see! I’m not the difficult kind that was more of your lies. So, beware of darkness, I no longer have your back. Taking care of myself, it’s a better me. You see! I have a new home.
Writer's notes: Briefly meet Sheryl Crow in 1994, my body was in pain from a work related accident. Smiling through it all, I was definitely happy. Sheryl was so sweet. Recalling her song, If It Make You Happy, it played on my car radio hundreds of times. Of course, it was a favorite of mine for so many reasons. Covering Sheryl Crow's fifty-five songs in this story, I probably repeated two. Thank you for reading.