Part 2 :: The Road of Ice We Would Never See.


I forgot what my hair does when the humidity is sucked from the air. The back of it starts to weave itself together and create a nest. Eventually it envelopes the hair on the side and if you lift up just one piece of hair the entire mass rises with it. 

I forgot to pack things for my hair, I was distracted by knowing my bleed would arrive on the drive, obsessed with packing little pouches with pads and tampons and Motrin and oils. 

Forgotten were my brush, shampoo and conditioner, my tools for untangling the nest. The hotels leave tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the nest would require 10 of those tiny bottles of conditioner. 

In somewhere Arizona, it began with a B,  the nest was so tight and uncomfortable I wrapped my hair in a scarf I had for my neck. I screamed as I tightened it and Dave carefully took his turn tying it as I tried not to yell that it hurt. 

My body was bloated from being in the early days before the bleed, my hair was distracting me and I needed my coffee. Our bodies had yet to yield to the soothing rhythm of the drive, I was feeling Dave's anxiety to make up for the lost day of driving as my own.

Hotel breakfasts are tough if you are health conscious, gluten-free or just like eggs that taste like eggs. It wasn't until our last morning that I figured out a breakfast hack.

On this morning the first thing I did was pour the hot water into the mushroom coffee powder that was traveling with me and then found the hot chocolate packets and fixed Dave a hot chocolate the way he likes it, extra powder, extra cream. He doesn't need the ritual the way I do, for me including him into the ritual of morning grounds me into him. Us.


We talked about making a list of talking points for the drive, before beginning, jokingly worrying we would run out of things to talk about.

When you are driving speeds of 80 plus miles an hour words become scarce. When you are driving on sheets of ice in Texas words become scarce. When you spend 14 hours sitting next to one other person words become scarce.

When we drove from California to Massachusetts our words became scarce. In the way so much of something becomes so much of nothing. In the way I am only just understanding was the gift of the trip, the absence of something. Into a nothing I ache for when I remember.


In the Texas ice storm driving past trucks spun off the road my tears spilled out as I clutched the steering wheel. Two people I love last year lost family on the road. Every car and truck we saw spun off became a prayer.

When we left the hotel that morning we didn't know the ice had formed its own road, a hidden one that eyes could not see. Once we had started, going back was scarier than moving forward, as there was an accident on every on and off ramp.

The fear and the coffee left my bladder full and pulsing. I told Dave I had to stop to pee so we pulled off to the side of the road when we found a huge space to our right, the safest spot we could find to shield us from a car sliding off the road. My cowboy boots slipped on the ice as Dave held my arm and guided me to the passenger door which he had opened for me to hold onto as I squatted to pee on the open road covered in ice on the road.

Modesty doesn't remind you of itself in fear or when a bladder is about to explode. Dave took over the drive and I sat there driving with him in my mind. It felt like together we could keep the van safe on this icy road you wouldn't believe existed. 

We knew it would end. We knew stopping held more danger than moving forward. The story of nothing transformed into fear for a few short hours in our silence. We traveled through internal journeys until the moment we saw cars driving towards us going West at speeds of 70 miles an hour. 

It took us more than a few beats to trust it. To allow the right foot to give a tiny bit more pressure down on the pedal. We found our way over a path of ice sitting side by side in the seats that had become seats of a table for meals, beds, offices, for the nothing of a drive that would take five days to complete.


The brush manifested in a truck/RV stop that I wandered around in awe. Gadgets and tools and clothes and food. A little electric kettle for hot water that would shut itself off when it ran dry. Gray leg warmers making me feel less of a stand out as my own were tucked into my boots. It was an RVers dream store and I dream of an RV.

We almost bought a memory foam bum cushion for the driver's seat, days later regretting passing it by as our hips began to ache. With the brush I chose a pair of sunglasses that were bedazzled with rhinestones and green flowers, my rule being if you have to buy sunglasses at a rest stop, find the ones you normally wouldn't purchase. 

I washed my hair only once in those six days of travel, the truck stop brush pulling out more hair than I felt I wanted to part with as I stood under the hot water of a shower in a state I can't remember. Only two days since coming home the states and hotels and miles are like the same bead on a necklace strung over and over, each one beautiful when held alone then losing uniqueness when in line with the others.


The day my hair was wrapped in the black scarf I stood in New Mexico; I couldn't believe I was in New Mexico. I made a video and took a photo in the front of the welcome sign. We saw little else of New Mexico other than that rest stop, and the scenery we drove by. I knew I would come back here, I felt the land calling me from a time in the future already imprinted with my visit.

The nothing was holding us as the miles gave me the comfort of sitting next to my man as he listened to football games and my eyes fell heavy into sleep under a seatbelt and our mocha colored blanket reminding us of home. 

As he drove I felt him as my protector, there was nothing that he wouldn't do for me. As I drove I wanted to wrap myself around him to guide him into sleep, my head glancing over in his direction every few minutes until I would hear his breath change over into sound that I could pick out from a hundred men sleeping, his sound the rooting of my nurturer lover partner self. 


Lunch at the Blind Tiger in Louisiana is where our nervous systems would relax from the road of ice we would never see and the so much of nothing inside the miles of a drive would bring an absence of a feeling that has been a companion to me for so long. 

The fear of that absence of feeling is why I wanted to turn around in Rhode Island.  The absence of that feeling is what I sit here now looking to find words for. The absence of the feeling is lingering inside the van that now sits in our garage hiding from the storm laying down feet of snow in New England.

It asks for a third part to be written during a snow day with little boys running around bored. One more part that I long to be on the other side of as I sip a sour lemon tea and hear pleas for grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches to fill aching bellies.

One more part of a truth found on a drive of over 3,000 miles, West to East, next to the partner of my heart. The part that brought the tears that wouldn't stop yesterday as I felt my way into a re-entry of home.