Having great bosses, spending time with my daughter and being employed was a good feeling to have. Making it a great feeling is having all three things in extremely close proximity. It’s not the travel itself that’s difficult for me. The introspective five hour, 300 mile drive is a nice escape from reality. Or at least it is when driving to my daughter. The drive back to the “hotel room with kitchenette” is a whole other feeling of shit. It really did suck.
Driving towards my daughter, I couldn’t care if it was 4 am enjoying the sunrise or 10 pm pulling into the station riding the bus. I was happy, almost blissful, at least to a point. I knew that in just 48 hours time, I’d be returning to my starting point. The drive back to continue my job was near complete and total hell. The distance between me and the place I “live” was getting smaller, while the distance between friends and my little girl was greatly increasing.
Near the second hour of driving away, I’d become numb to everything around me. My mind would be empty, my body on autopilot, just staring into the horizon speeding down the interstate. Those were the night driving times, where everything around you just blended in with each other except for what the headlamps bounced back off. The darkness further encased the emptiness that was my mind.
Monday morning shed light on the ghost of a man who had left that previous Friday. He was there, just not entirely all at the same time. By Wednesday, I was back to my normal self, enjoying the work and my surroundings, locking away Monday’s thoughts and feelings. I was looking forward to the following Friday when I’d do it all over again and be on the road to seeing my daughter.
I came to realize that driving 1200 miles a month, while partly enjoyable, was also something that I would have to rethink. While being able to force myself to believe that twice a month visits was better than nothing, twice is no longer cutting it. There’s a bouncy, happy to see her daddy, little girl that deserves a hell of a lot more time than whats been offered. She knows I’m daddy, but doesn’t fully understand I’m daddy. She trusts her daddy, but doesn’t fully understand why she trusts him. She just knows that the man she’s called daddy has shown up to take her for a day trip, to spend time with her and explore her world as she wants and sees fit. He shows affection towards her, a care in his eyes without even knowing it, and she picks that up without trouble.
There’s a bond between us that’s struggling to be kept, being constantly tested by time, time spent apart from each other. One day she’ll know all, but until then, she’ll at least know that her daddy loves her…