Every March 3rd, I go for a drive.
I buckle my seat belt, plug my Ipod into my stereo, and then turn the dial to a play list marked Chelsea.
Before I can push play I put the car in gear and let the gentle pull of the tires take my car and myself down whatever road is the longest. The pavement pulls and disappears under my wheels like black taffy that has been stretched and pulled by the hands of God.
I take in every moment of silence as my thumb itches the play button, my mind quietly calculating the can of worms that would open if my thumb were to simply press down.
All the joy, sorrow, loss, and memories that would rise to the surface as they have regularly for the last five years.
William Somerset Maugham once said, "You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences." and with the push of a button, I do just that.
As the music begins to play a wave of nostalgia envelopes me with every note and melody.
The first song on the list is "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" - By: Colin Hay from The Garden State Soundtrack.
The first time I heard this song I was sitting in my car with Chelsea. We had been dating for about a year and as in any relationship that goes on longer than a month the conversation was steering towards defining our relationship. She had asked me the question "How do you feel about me?" I had been shuffling through my CD's at the time (this was my pre-IPod days) pulling out the Garden State soundtrack and placing it into the player. I didn't hear her question and simply rested back into my seat, after a few seconds of silence the song began to play and she asked again, "How do you feel about me, Neil?"
I hate to say it but it took me a few moments to answer this question. If anyone knows me or my family then you would know that sharing our feelings is like wearing a sweater you got for Christmas: you try it on and it feels warm, but you never take it out of the house for others to see. I nodded my head towards the radio and said, "This song sums up everything."
She smiled and nestled her head into my chest, our breathing matched, as we sat in that comfortable silence where all things were uncertain.
I let the songs keep playing, each one attached to a memory, some good, some bad, but all more than worth it. As the songs finish out, I find myself at the Heber City Cemetery as I do every March 3rd and November 26th. Kneeling at the mis-marked gravestone (the date of her death was accidentally marked wrong) with a fist full of flowers I cry and remember my first love and my best friend.