First you started swerving, then you started crashing, and then you kept on drinking. I took the wheel. You passed out and I kept driving. You missed the orange glow from Virginian sunset. You missed the rest stop filled with people with southern drawls where I bought you water and some chips.
You missed seeing yourself climb out the window on the freeway. You missed the gas station in Richmond. You missed the black man named Theo who I asked for directions. You missed him telling me I was beautiful. You missed him undressing me with his eyes. You missed him not listening to my story of how you were passed out and how I was lost and how we were ten hours from home. You missed him telling me that he’d treat me better. You missed me shaking when he tried to touch me. You missed me running back to the car and locking the doors.
You missed the traffic jam at 10pm on I-95 South. You missed hearing “Big Choruses” played over and over and over again. You missed Denny’s. You missed the two men who gave me directions and a paper and pen to write them down on. You missed them exchanging glances after watching my hand shake while I was copying them down. You missed them asking me if I was sure I’d be okay. You missed seeing me cross my fingers and say I’d be just fine.
You missed realizing that we were driving up and down the same abandoned streets. You missed hearing me on the phone with a strange, southern boy who was trying to figure out where we were. You missed seeing yourself trying to grab the phone from my ear. You missed seeing yourself turning up The Who on the radio. You missed watching me swallow my tears, pleading with you to stop.
You missed seeing yourself jump out of the car at the intersection. You missed seeing your eyes roll back into your head. You missed seeing yourself collapse onto the ground. You missed hearing me screaming, crying, begging you, “Mark, please wake up. Please Mark, please don’t do this”. You missed feeling me trying to lift you back into the car. You missed seeing me on my hands and knees, trying to pick up all the broken pieces of your watch off the ground.
You missed my shaking. You missed seeing the fear in my eyes. You missed the salty taste of my tears running down my face and into my mouth.
You missed the alley way. You missed watching me walk into the dirty bar. You missed seeing everyone stop talking and staring at me while I asked for directions.
You missed us finally pulling into the 7/11 parking lot. You missed seeing me hug Joe so hard. You missed seeing my fear turn into anger. You missed hearing Ben say he knew this would happen.
You missed the venue. You missed them playing The Movielife. You missed the smoking indoors. You missed playing pool. You missed the bathroom mirrors wallpapered with band stickers. You missed seeing Noah trying to scale the jump.
You missed driving to Will’s house. You missed Ben and Sam trying to fix the back door of their van that you drove into earlier. You missed the beer. You missed the shots of jaeger. You missed me not being able to swallow it down. You missed At The Drive-In. You missed smoking on the tiny indoor porch. You missed their friendly southern accents. You missed seeing Ben sneak back into your jeep to take what was left of the vodka so that you couldn’t drink it when you woke up. You missed me staring at myself in the stranger’s bathroom mirror, trying to figure out where everything went wrong. You missed hearing Joe tell me that it wasn’t my fault. You missed seeing Joe slide his hand up my pants. You missed seeing me stand up and walk away. You missed feeling the shiver that went up my spine when I saw you awake and walking towards the house. You missed feeling all the anger that was inside of me, making me feel as if I could explode at any second. You missed seeing everyone exchange glances. You missed seeing me pretend to be asleep when you came inside.
You missed me listening to your conversation with Joe. You missed realizing that I heard you say that “it wasn’t a big deal,” that “this is how rock stars live,” and that “everything is fine.” You missed me repeating in my head, “Everything is not fine. Everything is not fine. Everything is not fine.” Then you missed the tears in my eyes again. And you missed me closing them, wishing that I could be anywhere else with anyone else. And you missed seeing me rocking myself to sleep.
And then you crashed again.