listen to your heart that beats and follow it with both your feet

by Amy Turn Sharp


 

When I pull out "Road to Ensenada" by Lyle Lovett I always get misty for some particular moment. My grandmother and I in my old beater primer colored car parked beside of her peony bushes in the thick heady end of a spring that was particularly cruel. There was a low buzz of winged insects in the air and I just sat there in the car waiting for gran to find her keys from her small leather clutch she carried.

We just sat there listening and it was right before dinner and my favorite part of the afternoon. That album was on loop that year. I think it is Lyle's best work. I think Julia Robert's was a pretty good muse as it is recorded after they split and sometimes it takes a bit of time to percolate and simmer love down to words. I liked thinking of them together. Awkward and sexy and cowboy boots by the bed. I liked it.

And gran just took out her nail file and started doing her nails and we were in no kind of hurry and the peonies were dank and fragrant to an abusive state through the open car windows. And ants were low to the ground with the petals. There were always ants swimming for their lives in gran's big kitchen sink when we brought in cut fat bouquets of the flowers as children. We would stand on the small wooden stool and delight in our sweet love for her. And that's what I miss. I miss those flowers now as she finds her spring in a concrete high-rise apartment building and my heart punches to know there is probably no one in awe of those flowers this year.

But we sat and listened to that album together until she had groomed herself and I had become hungry and we opened the doors and left. And it will always make me think of her old home. My old home. And she's not gone yet and I see her and there is much love between us- so how come I feel like she is sometimes.

Gone. 

How can I miss something that still exists? I think I miss myself back then. I must have had one sliver of invincible skin left. I must have tucked it some dark secret place like a talisman. I must have. I don't dare talk about her old house to her. But I want to. I want to speak of the peonies and let her see my heart shine out like a mad one. I want to rewind time and sit in the car again.