Living A Carless Existence

Two weeks ago Bobby and I uprooted again and moved to San Diego. It has been a big change already and sometimes I get scared that we won’t survive, but I’m trying to be positive, because overall this change is probably for the best.

Between the two of us, there is only one car. Bobby works within 2 miles of where we live, so it is very easy for him to take his bike or walk to work. But sometimes he has to work at a different location, which is more like 15-20 miles of where we live. We decided that, since the bus routes don’t go all the way to his second work location, that I can take the bus sometimes. In order to save money, I want to try to take the bus or my bike most days, but I have to get in better shape for that to happen.

So on Friday I decided to be brave and take the first step toward living a carless existence. I took the bus, which is $6 for a day pass, so that he wouldn’t have to take a Lyft, which is $40 one way to his other work location. As I was gathering my things and going out the door I remembered that I would need keys in order to get back into the apartment when I got home.
I successfully made three bus changes and didn’t get lost or have an anxiety attack the whole way to work. I was so proud. Then Bobby called me. He didn’t know where the car keys were. We used to have two sets, but his went missing a month or so ago, so we’re down to one. Our one car key is on my set of keys, which I had grabbed as I went out the door to catch my bus.

We were stuck. Bobby had to take a Lyft anyway, which means my effort to save us money had actually cost us more money. I’m still mad about it.

Storm

Sun gives way to rain
Day gives way to night
Lost somewhere in between

Touching the ground for remnants of warmth
Touching souls for glimpses of memories long since forgotten
Roads less travelled are still roads

New paths try to be easier
Yet the old ones are tried and true
Nothing was broken to make this

True strength is found in moments of weakness
Not strong enough to fight anymore
But you have kept from breaking

This soil knows what fear looks like
Rejoicing at God’s constant provision
While eyes only see another storm

Stay inside if you’re still afraid
I’ll be on my way now
There are stories still to be told
And I’m ready to listen

Only a Dream

The dreams have gotten more incessant as time has gone on.  They’re even worse and more common now than ever before.  The last few weeks I have woken from every sleep to terror and sweat, worrying that something is wrong with me.
When they first started, I thought that maybe I had eaten something I shouldn’t have, or that I was coming down with some sort of sickness.  As time went on, I began to think that maybe these dreams mean something; maybe someone is trying to tell me something.  But what could these dreams possibly tell me?  Am I not the person I always have believed I was?

I get on the bus and promptly take my seat in the back.  I ride for a half-an-hour or so before I see him step on.  The dark haired man takes a seat two rows forward.  He is tall and handsome, in his own way.  His grey shirt and messenger bag give his identity away to me instantly.
After a few stops, I see him rise, so I do the same.  I follow him as he walks toward the exit, but I am careful to keep my distance.  He turns to walk down the street at a brisk pace.  After a few blocks he makes a right, and then a quick left.  I worry that I will lose him, when I see him walk into a pub on the next corner.  I walk in and take a seat in the corner.  A waitress appears and so I give her an order, searching the crowd for my target.  I find him at the bar, but I quietly wait for my moment of action.
When the waitress brings me my drink, I get momentarily distracted, only to lose sight of the man I followed in here.  I begin to panic, but only for a moment, as he takes a seat across from me.
“I know you’ve been following me,” he says.  “My name’s Jake.  Normally I would be creeped out, but you’re pretty, so I think I’ll let that feeling pass.”
My embarrassment is evident on my face and I know it.  “My name’s Anna,” I stutter.  “I’m sorry.  I just thought you were handsome, and I am new in town.  I don’t really have anything going on tonight, and I usually ride the bus so I can learn the city.  I didn’t mean to follow you.”  I’m not sure why I am suddenly so chatty.
“Well, I don’t mind.  Do you want to sit and talk?  Or even go on a walk?  It’s a pleasure to meet you, Anna.”  He stands up and offers his hand.  I quickly finish my drink and follow him out the door.

We walk for 20 minutes or so, making small talk and awkwardly trying to say slightly impressive things to each other.  I know how the mating game works, it’s almost always the same.  Our hands brush and I blush.  Jake scratches the back of his neck in nervousness.  The next time our hands touch, I take his.  He looks at me and smiles.  Soon we reach an alley, so I pull him in after me.
“What are we doing?  This is not how I expected my night to turn out,” Jake laughs.
I push him up against the wall and put my hands around his neck.  I tell him to kiss me.  I feel electricity as our lips touch.  Something inside me ignites and I pull myself closer to him.
Kissing strangers is so much different, but somehow more exciting.  The bottom of my shirt begins to ride up, and he puts his hand just above my jeans, touching bare skin.  I shiver at his touch.  We turn and I feel brick against my back.  I fake powerlessness, but only for so long.  I reach my hand behind my to grab a blade.  I don’t remember bringing a knife along, but it will be useful, apparently.  In our passion I begin to play with his shirt, touch his chest, kiss his neck.  And then I thrust the blade of my knife in his stomach.  His eyes open.  I can see the fear and shock, and I smile.  I can feel the life leave him.  It’s always exciting, watching all energy drain.

Suddenly my eyes fly open.  I am soaked in sweat, and I begin to sob.  It was only a dream.  It was only a dream.  I keep telling myself this.  I bring my hands to my face, and notice that they are covered in blood.  Jake’s blood.  I thought it was only a dream?