In the paralyzing anguish of watching crossroads vanish like an oasis mirage, I doubled over suddenly from sucker-punch knowledge only moments old, curling fetal on a hotel room bed in the dark 3,000 miles away from home and family.
The boy who bobbed along manhood's sandy surface called out for his parents, but they had already passed months earlier. I called for them yet again, a futile cry for solace, and then I prayed, something I don't do very often.
I prayed for insight and guidance, protection and continuity, stability and resilience. The yellow light from the streets below seeped through the sheer curtains and caked like pollen in the corners of my swollen, wet eyes.
Moments later I wiped them clean and called my wife, my friend, my lover, my confidant, my muse, the sun to my moon, the mother of my beautiful daughters.
I recovered and said, "I love you so much."
"I know. It'll be all right," she said. "We always have what we need; it always works out."
"Yes, you're right. I just want to be home with you and the girls. I'll see you tomorrow," I said.
"I love you," she said.
"Give the girls a kiss."
Prayer answered, I fell fast asleep and dreamt of crossroads lit in the morning light...