Running from the Sun

A gust of wind blew the hot desert dirt across the abandon section of road somewhere in the southwest, had to have been New Mexico by now. I had a familiar pit in my stomach thinking there were only two directions to go “Home and West.” I say it was a familiar feeling because every time I pass through the wall of mountains surrounding the Northeast Pennsylvania coal region that sink would happen. Sleeping in the South falling asleep to sirens in the city, that sink would happen. Those sirens don’t sing out here. These ideas of home are but a mere roof over my head. I had been on the run particularly in and out of these small drifter hubs, along this pipeline of gangsters, freighters, moon runners, bikers, and me. The nostalgia rooted in the dirt and sand, it had been like that since the 1920’s.

I worshiped the road. It had become my best friend and my worst enemy, all before I even reached Amarillo Texas, amongst the fields of windmills where you could see the world curve. I remember leaving around five in the morning asking myself if I was running from the sun. Never ran from anything, I could remember my father screaming at intruders who tried breaking into the dock house where he stored his fishing equipment; probably the same time of morning too. Long morning drives to and from, here and there, bad black coffee and breakfast cakes. I could live like this for a long time to come. It was in my blood. It was in my genes. I thought about God, I thought about the woman I loved, I thought about the scrape on my knee I had when I was a kid. All these thoughts passed with the thistle brush, cactus and western wild flowers. It was October. I hadn’t seen a familiar face since July. The cut under the big knuckle of my thumb hadn’t healed. I caught it on a thorn in Lackawanna state park back up north before the weather had turned cold and grey. I picked it open to remind me where I came from and where I wanted to be, but where I couldn’t bring myself to go. Little did I realize I was home.

Photograph and text by Parker Reinecker