July 25, 2018 at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.
Lynne’s CD, Revelation Road, is central in Elle’s struggle back from the edge.
Her songs offer Elle comfort in Whispers and On the Border.
Rick went to the living area and picked up a couple of pillows. He returned to Elle’s room and put them on the floor near her bed. He lay down and stared at the ceiling. He had just closed his eyes when Elle spoke.
“I want to go home.”
“Elle, you are home.”
“It’s not working.”
“What’s not working?” he asked.
“‘I want to go back so I can run away again’,” he quoted another Lynne song.
“I’m not doing it right,” she said. She paraphrased the song, “I keep going back and running away all over again . . . and again . . . and . . ..”
“Lynne writes it’s because pain is what you know, Elle. Pain is your comfort zone. It’s the one thing that’s never deserted you.”
Elle knew Lynne had found some peace through her music. She closed her eyes and reached out to the woman who understood. Keep singing Shelby ’cos I’m not there yet.
Excerpt from On the Border:
Elle wiped the fog away from the bathroom mirror as Rick cooked breakfast. She’d slept through most of yesterday evening and on into the night. She didn’t seem anxious this morning, so Rick felt that the rest had been what she needed. His favorite upbeat playlist could be heard in the background. A sudden smile crossed his lips, causing him to sneak into his bedroom. He took a package from the top shelf of his wardrobe and, on his way back to the kitchen, saw Elle towel-drying her hair in the bathroom. He quickly unwrapped a new shirt and put it on. He walked to the media player and waited for a song to finish before clicking on, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”
Rick took the bacon from the skillet and laid it on paper towels. He moved to the wall outside the bathroom and waited for a certain lyric: “At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder what would Jimmy Buffett do.”
Rick, now wearing a tropical shirt, leaned around the door frame and, along with Buffett, answered the question, “Funny you should ask, Alan.”
Rick had expected Elle to laugh, as she always did at one of his song antics, but she didn’t.
Elle turned away from him and said, “Take it off.” She wrapped her arms around her waist, leaned against the vanity and slowly slid to the floor.
Rick pulled off the unbuttoned shirt and rushed into the bathroom. “Elle, I’m sorry.” She couldn’t hear him; she was too busy trying to get a breath.
Rick kneeled on the floor next to her. He didn’t touch her. “Elle, deep, slow breaths. One . . . two . . . three . . ..” He repeated the words till her breathing slowed. “Are your meds in your purse?” Elle shook her head from side to side. “Are you still taking them?” She shook her head no. “Can I call Sarah?” Elle’s head moved up and down.
Rick went to the night stand and picked up Elle’s phone. He searched her contacts until he found Sarah Bennett. He dialed the number. Bennett’s answering service picked up. He explained the situation and was assured Bennett would receive the message as soon as she could be reached. He gave his cell number before hanging up.
Rick grabbed the shirt off the floor and shoved it into a drawer. He hurried to the media player and exchanged one playlist for another. Back in the bathroom, he found Elle’s breathing was near normal. “Elle?” She nodded. “You want to move to the bed?” She nodded again. Rick helped Elle to her feet. She was lying on the bed when she heard Shelby Lynne’s voice from the living room.
“There's something to be said about Airstreams,” Lynne sang.
She looked at Rick and mouthed, “Thank you.” Elle shut out everything except for Lynne’s voice. “I want me a big ol' Cadillac. To haul all the demons and dreams . . ..”