Losing Your Place On Earth

“Please, don’t say that about our son,” she had said. 

“Well, I said it,” I snapped and left for work. 

Driving alone for 8 hours through the desert gave me plenty of time to regret what I had said, though. 

Not the feeling that I sometimes did not want an autistic son who had a habit of getting up at night. Especially the nights when I was desperately in need of sleep from the last shift. Looking out for the lonely highways and byways of Arizona. What a job, eh? Well, in any case—this feeling was genuine. 

But I regretted that I had said it out loud, didn’t I? 

No. No, that wasn’t right. 

I also did regret the feeling itself. 

Michael needs all the love he can get if he is ever to have something remotely akin to a normal life. And I do love him. 

Except for the times when I wished that he wasn’t there. 

Michael is still too young to understand, of course, and maybe he never will. Not entirely. The psychiatrists put his chances of ever learning to talk at about 50-50. 

I know I have committed a cardinal sin, though, by saying what I felt this morning out loud, in front of my wife and oldest daughter who both were just as dead-tired as I was, from being up all night. 

So that is the question, I think very hard about, as I make ready for my routine turn at Gila Bend back towards Yuma. At the last minute, though, I go directly south on the 85. 

I don’t feel like driving home just yet, although my shift is almost over. I turn on the radio and listen to the pundits who haven’t much to talk about. They drone on, while my thoughts about what has happened this morning are the only noise in my head. 

I regret every damn word, dammit. But …

But I don’t feel like calling Carrie and saying I am sorry. Not yet. 

Even though I know those kinds of shitty remarks hurt her more than she lets on. The problem is my insane work schedule, two kids—one of them handicapped, or so I can’t help thinking of it. 

The only way I can sometimes carve out a niche for myself is by being angry. 

Still, it is not right. So I will tell that to my wife. 

Or something. 

When I get home. 


Last edited 5 Aug 2023