Saturday, January 12, 2008

Leaving Atlanta

Leaving Atlanta on Sunday afternoon was always the same. The cityscape fading into the haze and over the horizon. Ten lanes changing into eight, six, and finally four, as we chased the sun for awhile across the western sky. There is always something lonesome to me about leaving behind the life and excitement of the city.

We would stop before we got to the state line to fill up with gas, get a cold drink, and buy a lottery ticket. Back in the car, we'd talk about all the things we would do if we won, what we'd buy and the places we'd go. They were always different, but always the same.

Almost invariably, she would fall asleep. And I would listen to the 80's station out of Atlanta until the signal faded into unintelligible clutter. Sometimes I would be lost in thought and not even notice the static.

Birmingham always woke her. Turning her head to look out the window, realizing where we were, she would offer a soft smile. One of those lovers' smiles that says things words could never hope to express. I can still see her sleepy eyes if I close mine...

Today, Atlanta still has Six Flags and the Braves, and a beautiful cityscape. I don't think they have the 80's station anymore. Last time I was there, I couldn't find it. But you can still stop at some little store near the state line and get a lottery ticket. And think about the things you'd buy if you won.

Or maybe about the things you can't.

"Put her there in the front yard swing. Cotton dress, make it early spring. And for awhile she'll be mine again, if you can paint me a Birmingham..."


  1. "Or maybe about the things you can't."

    I wasn't expecting tears to be called up this early on a Sunday morning.

    Beautifully written, Bone.

  2. Was going to state the same line Marcia did

    Read this several times--its beauty began with
    as we chased the sun for awhile across the western sky. There is always something lonesome to me about leaving behind the life and excitement of the city.

    Especially "as we chased the sun for awhile...."

    Well the whole thing. For somebody who can't write you sure know how to put words together :)

    And let me say this Bone. As somebody who has read and known you for two and a half years--you have come a long way--in the writing and life senses

    Proud of my 'tee

  3. I always love your ability to dig into my being and shake any given emotion out of me.

    Love-sick and lonely.

    Wonderful piece.

  4. the story behind the song.. fantastic.

  5. One of the nice things about your writing is that I can never tell if it's autobiographical or complete fiction.

    I enjoyed this, as I do all your writings.

  6. Marcia: Aww, thanks Marcia. It's always most meaningful to know something I've written has moved someone.

    Pia: Thanks, 'tor. Still a long way to go, but I can see progress.

    Blondie: Thank you, friend. I love that you let me know I have that ability :)

    Shelby: Thanks! I had a tough time picking a lyric for this one. Many seemed to fit, but at the same time, none did.

    Xinh: Thanks much, Xinh. I do try and put a fiction tag on all that is, so at least you know after the fact :)

  7. There is always something lonesome to me about leaving behind the life and excitement of the city.

    Was it really leaving the city, or knowing you were going to leave her soon that made you feel that way?

    As with all of your pieces about lost love - one in particular - this one twists on my heart and practically rips it out.

  8. This brought me to tears, something you've not done in a while . . but somehow always have the capability to do.

    You have a beautiful heart, an amazing soul and a talented mind. They all combine to produce these gut-wrenching, heart-stopping posts. And we're all thankful to be blessed with them.

    Magnificent, Bone.


  9. what a beautiful train of thought...

  10. as always you tug very well with these.

    yeah, it's easier to take a good picture of yourself when someone else holds the camera.

    And as for cookie delivery...that's an awefully expensive box of cookies! LOL! Buy some from your local girl scout and do it in honor of Darly ;o)

  11. TC: Leaving most any large city leaves me feeling like that. Thanks.

    Lillith: Thank you. As I stated to Marcia, it's always most meaningful to learn that my words have moved someone.

    Paisley: Thank you for the kind words.

    Renee: Thanks. Oh, I'll definitely be buying some, as long as I see them out somewhere. I think they set up outside Wal-Mart last year.

  12. What you leave behind... city or girl, can leave a bare place in your heart. The nostalgia when we return is sometimes overwhelming. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt story. I am left to assume this wasn't fiction because it wasn't tagged so. I can only hope you reminisce without to much hurt. Have a nice day, Bone.

    By the way, thanks for stopping by shades of mj today. It was a nice surprise. I left a comment for you if you would like to stop by and see what it was. See ya!

  13. Nicely written Bone--I've left Atlanta many times as I'm attached to someone who is from that city--normally I'm heading east to the Carolinas or north toward Tennessee & MI, but mostly it's up, via a plane

  14. That was beautiful. Happy Monday, even though you had to come back:)

  15. Poignant Bone, you paint us a picture of the past that is still fresh in your mind. And now ours as well.



  16. HMMM....early love road trips. They're the BEST.....where you hurry through the rest areas so you can get back in the car and TALK more.

    I love the road trips. It's got to be my favorite part of dating. How many times have I looked over and offered that soft, sleepy smile.

  17. I love your little romantic stories. They make me all warm and fuzzy.

  18. Michelle: It most certainly can. Sometimes it's overwhelming and sometimes just a twinge, but it's always there.

    Sage: Thanks. Planes and airports add their own brush strokes to a memory.

    Actonbell: Thank you. Happy Monday to you :)

    Rose: Thank you.

    Esmerelda: I love road trips, too. The conversation, the radio, the little exits and stores you stop at along the way.

    Carnealian: Why, thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

  19. this makes me sad and nostalgic and sappy for a place i've never been.

    it's awesome.

  20. I am in the big city now... Los Angeles. Did I tell you one of the guys from the show Prison Break was on my flight? LA is cool and all, but the traffic is the worst!

    I read your post from the other day... you've gotta come over and play this Nintendo Wii! It is awesome. With all the sports games, you'll never have to leave the house again! I got billiards last week for it!

    With the invention of pizza delivery and now this... the life of a bachelor is complete!

  21. Way to go, Bone. Great writing. Is there a book in you somewhere? Or two? If not, I still think you should give it a shot. A quick aside: ANY 80s station gets my vote!

  22. Only $37.50! What a bargain. I could make pizza bagels using trefoil cookies. I don't have anymore bagels.

    My only problem is the bus rental...where can I get a bus?

  23. Forgive me because I haven't said it in awhile but I think it's high time to bring back "Fucking fantastic". So there you go, pal.

  24. And memories like those are priceless.

  25. Well, thank you, Charlotta-Love, for her shout-out to you that got me here.

    You are a gifted writer. This was lovely.

    No, really.


  26. well, I think I have a crush on you.

  27. memories are such wonderful emotions..always..even the sad ones..

  28. beautiful post!

    i love that song :)

  29. Sizzle: Thank you for the very nice words :)

    Java Boo Boo: Um yes, you told me. You sent out a mass email about it to everyone. lol

    I've still never played Wii. Are you as good at Wii billiards as you are in real billiards?

    Sean: Thank you. A book or two, or my own column, would be nice. And I love 80's music.

    Renee: I'm not sure. Maybe you could look into buying a rickshaw.

    Heather B: Why thank you, pal :)

    Lass: Are you saying there could be a Visa commercial in here somewhere?

    Jocelyn: I second that thanks to Charlotta. And thank you for stopping by. I feel very cordial suddenly.

    Cami: Really? I had no idea!

    Gautami: Very well said. I agree.

    RedneckGirl: Thanks! Good to see you're still around :)