Past and Pending
I took the river road until I reached the end
I wrote those words into my song “Lullaby”, but I had never actually taken River Road all the way up. When Meagan called me looking for an adventure, I thought about the words again.
“Let’s go as far North as we can today,” I said.
“We could make Easton and back before sunset,” she said.
My best friend for about thirteen years, Meg was the one with wanderlust. It was the bug she had given me: a virus I didn’t mind catching. Now I had the desire to get out and leave, find new paths and journeys. This was the gift of Meagan’s friendship.
“Okay. Let’s go.”
The air was cold that day. We were glad to be in a car as we drove past the Delaware river and half-frozen lakes. There were waterfalls as we passed rocky hillsides. Actual waterfalls. I hadn’t seen the like since Colorado and stared out the window in awe. It was truly magical.
We talked about travel, geography and the Jersey Devil while munching on sourdough pretzels.
“Sometimes,” she told me as she turned the wheel, “while driving through the Barrens, I used to look for the Devil. Watching for shadows against the stars. Because those are the woods where Legends could still be alive.”
This was our friendship. Topics meandering and lovely all the while. We were poets and writers and liked to lose ourselves in “lines dissecting love” and life and other things.
The Shins’ Past and Pending was on right after a John Doyle reel. Eclectic music, but it fit our personalities. I didn’t listen to the words, but the sound made me think of all our road trips together. And while we’ve never taken a really long one, they are all memorable.
Once, we ended up at Seaside Heights during a cold spell in March, walking down the deserted boardwalk. You never know with us.
This trip, I got a sandwich from a supermarket deli, and the hunger trumped the odd taste of the food. “You never know,” she said, eyeing my sandwich dubiously. “These places the food could go either way.”
We were off again down the road, sometimes listening to music in silence, which we have always been wont to do.
I missed her when she was away at grad school. She is like family to me, the big sister I’ve never had.
As icicles dripped off of cliffs of “hills-not-mountains” around us, I wished.
“I wish it could always be like this,” I whispered to myself. I hope the years and miles never change our camaraderie.
We round a stone wall, laughing at a strange mural as we enter Easton and prepare to journey homeward.
Days like this precious moment of friendship are mile markers on the path of my memory. And in the dark times, I travel them over and over again.
Days like this, past and pending, are all that matter.
Write on Edge has begun a new and fancy challenge. This time, it was 500 words or less, the song Past and Pending by The Shins, and the word: “WISH”. I immediately wanted to write for it. It took me some time to be inspired because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to take the song at face value or not.
My final decision on it was what you just read. 🙂
Meagan is truly my best friend. She has a wonderful poetry blog, which I encourage you to visit.
I’ve been driving myself nuts all morning trying to find the term one of the ancient writers used for the form of love – I want to say either Socrates or Plato spoke of this form of platonic/friendship love – between two members of the same sex and said it was completely different from the love shared between a man and a woman.
This love was not romantic or sexual, but it was the strongest form of love, that only true friends could share, and it was rare. If anyone can remember the name of this, or what it’s called, I would appreciate you leaving a comment. I Google searched and checked my college textbooks but had no luck finding the term!!
Anyway, the mysterious missing word for this love was going to be the title, but instead it became Past and Pending, haha
Thanks, as always, for reading.