I have been… out of sorts. Things got pretty bad a few weeks ago. Was it weeks? I’m not sure, to be honest, I have a hard time concentrating. I needed a break, we both needed a break from… everything. We took a road trip, and we just kept driving. We drove south first, down the coast, then turned West. We ended up in Miami at some point, then Alabama. I remember a motel in Arkansas where I woke up screaming in some different language. I don’t remember checking into that motel, actually, but we had to check out in a hurry. I think someone called the police. Or maybe that was Oklahoma? We slept in the car too, a few times. Maybe a lot of times. We didn’t speak much, as we drove. Wendy cried a lot, at first, but eventually she got quiet, contemplative.
In New Mexico, watching a stunning sunrise, she held my hand. I thought she was going to leave me – I’ve thought she was going to leave me for a long time now – but she proved to be a better person than I ever give her credit for. She simply said she didn’t care, that she wasn’t going anywhere. She also asked if I thought we could get a book deal out of all this. We just laughed, as the desert heat started to build, just laughed and laughed there in the desert sun. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I wished she would leave me, that I didn’t think I was going to survive all this, that I never wanted her to suffer through it like she had. I saw tears in her eyes as she laughed, so I’m pretty sure she was already thinking the same thing.
We were driving around randomly and found a town out in the desert called Nightvale. It wasn’t even on the map, but it was a nice little town, though it seemed kind of unusual. Of course, unusual is a relative term for us… We had dinner at a quiet diner on what seemed like the main road, across from a large brick library, and we watched hollow-eyed people staring at us with clear distrust and suspicion. By the time we were done, the feeling was definitely mutual, but we saw two men standing outside what looked like a radio station, clearly flirting with one another, giggling and smiling, and for some reason it put us more at ease – just normal people doing normal things, I guess.
Wendy had to get back to work – I didn’t care much about my job, but we needed hers – so we started back East. The mood was lighter between us, but the trip was starting to take its toll on me – I hadn’t been sleeping more than an hour or so a night and I was drinking a six pack of energy drinks every day to keep going.
Somewhere around Kentucky something happened, I blacked out – thankfully while Wendy was driving – and the car got hot inside, like the heater was on 200%. Wendy had to pull over, she couldn’t even drive it was so hot in the car, and she kept trying to wake me up. She said I was moaning and sweating profusely, but she couldn’t wake me up, no matter what she did. I was unconscious for over seven hours, but woke up right at dawn. I couldn’t remember what transpired as I slept – it wasn’t normal sleep, it was so much deeper, so much darker. It was something bad, I’m sure, something black and rotted and terrible.
We got back to Providence on Sunday, so Wendy could get back to work. I’m still not sleeping much, but I’m feeling somehow refreshed? Or maybe I’ve just accepted the inevitable? I wish I knew. I think I just need sleep, even though I don’t want to. Wendy is doing better now, that’s one positive thing to come out of the trip. I only hope she can forgive me for what’s coming next.