Get me the fuck out of here. I'd go anywhere. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere boring and still. Someplace where I have nothing to do.

I see nothing but dirty city blocks. Walls of noise. Screaming. Hair styles. Nice jackets. Plastic cups. His apartment. Her apartment. My apartment. Apartments fucking everywhere. Why the fuck are there so many apartments, and why the fuck do I always have to be inside of one? Police cars / flashing blue lights and sirens. Mean men. Uniforms. Law. Unforgiving Law. It's like a hellish curse. Filthy streets. Filthy buildings. Filthy people accusing other filthy people of being filthy. Dog eat dog. Cannibalism. Is anyone happy? Are any of us talking? Do I know any of you? Is there anyone out there? Hello?

I hear a faint echo. I might as well be alone.

That old woman in the parking lot wasn't precious. No. Her shoes were endearing. Sure. But her eyes were crossed and glazed over. She couldn't walk right. Tiny, uneven steps. I doubt she could even really see us standing there by the car. We were nothing to her - two blurry, faceless moving forms. She was a God-fearing, sickly old woman. She shuffled over looking like she didn't know anything. She looked like she'd just been released from the hospital. The sad slip of paper she stuffed into my hand made me wish I was never born. I was not charmed, no. I was worried. I was so worried about her. I wanted to cry in her arms. I felt physically ill just looking at her. Exhausted. I wanted to fall asleep. I wanted to teach her to fall asleep. She'd be better off asleep.

The place I go in my imagination, to escape everything, is someplace far away. I'm not sure if this place really exists. I've been going there for years. At least since I was 4 or 5. But I'm not sure if it's real, or if it will ever be real. I don't know where the daydream came from, or why I find it comforting. I've never lived outside of the suburbs of a city. My grandparents did, though. And I guess it came from visiting them when I was really young. Riding in the back seat of the car at night, for hours. Feeling alone in every way, even in the company of family. Observing the tiny lights of distant houses. Havens of light. Like an oasis. Miles of darkness between them. I was afraid of the night. I'd imagine the people inside these tiny houses. I wondered if they were anything like me. Maybe they were me. I wanted to be with them. Whoever they were.

I especially liked it around Christmas time. Their pathetic way of stringing lights. All red? That's the best you could do? No green? No white? What about the other Christmas colors? Your pathetic Christmas lights. If Santa Claus was a cruel man, he'd pass over this house. He wouldn't even see it. The lights are an embarrassment to all of Christmas. And is that your tree I see, through the window there? It's so small. Those tiny, blinking, colored lights. Too few of them. The tree's not full enough. The lights look silly. I bet the ornaments are old. I want that sad Christmas. It's genius. You must live in fear of Christmas angels. The manger and the baby Jesus must be close. The wise men seek the light of your house like a star. You sad, strong people in your tiny, distant house. It's like a beacon. You shape my life and dreams. You try so hard. God, I love you. I wish I could be you.

In my imagination, my safe haven is in one of these houses. It's a white house in the middle of nowhere. The house is set far from the road, but I can and often do watch the headlights of cars pass at night. Sometimes I imagine the house having a second story. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just imagine my room and nothing else - the room I would have inside of this house, to sleep in, and lay in. I would write in this room. I'd have an old, wooden desk and a chair. In front of a window. I would keep the window open all day. Sometimes all night. I would have a bed, although I don't like sleeping in beds. I would have a record player, although I've never owned any records. I would be afraid of the sounds I hear outside at night, but I would enjoy this fear. I'd lay in bed forever every morning. Light pours in like God. I've imagined the kitchen. The table is small and round, four old chairs. I'd sit here when the bedroom seemed too confining. The square window above the kitchen sink looks out into nothing - a dark field. The refrigerator is covered in magnets. Alphabet letters, souvenirs from other people's vacations, souvenirs from my vacations. I would enjoy arranging and re-arranging these magnets. There's a tree in the yard, near a window. No fence in sight. Fields. Woods far beyond, like a dark wall. In the winter, the bare trees would inspire me and make me feel lonesome and nostalgic for things I've never known or seen. I would write about them. Sometimes it snows. Everything feels ancient. Once, in the hills there, I discovered the gray bones of a pterodactyl, curled under a rocky ledge. I didn't tell anyone. It was my secret. My secret, gray fossil. There are several large hills nearby, but the walk is a few miles. I'd walk into the hills sometimes. I don't know what I'd do in this place, or how I came about living here. Inherited, maybe? I don't know what I'd do for work. I just imagine myself digging shallow holes in the yard and wandering around aimlessly. Maybe I'd be a writer, or some kind of artist. Maybe I'd have money sent to me from publication companies. Or maybe I'd have inherited some money, too, from someone. I don't know who.

Anyway, it's beautiful. And Christmas time would be gorgeous and haunting. Red, green, and white everything. Glass ornaments. Candy canes from three years ago. Hand-made wooden reindeer on the mantle above the fireplace that no one ever lights. A rug. A tree. Presents poorly wrapped in cheap wrapping paper. Red, green, white. Pathetic colored lights. Nativity scenes everywhere - some missing the camel, some missing Joseph. Mary and her tiny, precious baby Jesus. I love them both. I love their stupid little hutch of a home. Christmas eve would have me insane with excitement. Christmas day would reek havoc on my soul. Somehow, everything would just look different on this day, like it used to when I was a stupid little kid. It would be my favorite day of the year, like it used to be. Red, green, white.

I want to go to this place. I wish it were a real, physical place. Somewhere I could point to on a map. Because I want to be there now. I really want to get away sometimes, and be alone. Really alone. Someplace private and mine. If the world were a perfect place, I'd ask for a person like you (and you know who "you" is) to come with me to this place. But it isn't real. And I can't ask.

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