and the miles keep sliding by


i am an arrow shot into the space between the earth and the sky.

words pass me in a blur. taken out of context, they stand surreal: a billboard for "BUTT DRUGS", a van reading "NO CRACKS ALLOWED", a bait and tackle shop called "HAPPY HOOKERS". at times i have to blink away the sand that whirls through the air and sneaks under my helmet, and the words rapidly fade from memory. i recite them in my head to keep them fixed.

riding on the interstate is a high-stakes game of sokoban. cars respond to my gentle pressure; i evaluate every single one of them and decide which ones i would rather ride near, slowly reshuffling the ordering by nudging people up and down the line. by the time i've arranged those rectangles to my liking, some of them have peeled off and others have arrived, and i have to start over. it keeps me from getting bored.

my drawl comes back so fast when i dip a few hundred miles south. my vowels round out as i push west. i didn't think i had an accent until i heard it coming out of my mouth. when i cross the line into the state that contains my childhood, i instantly burst into tears, and then stop just as quickly as my sight rapidly blurs over.

a large orange blur pierces the left side of my vision as i lean into the exit ramp. a car slams on its brakes too late; a young doe cartwheels through the air in several pieces, trailed by glass and plastic. we all stop to look. some of us move on, seeing that others are taking care of each other.

i glance at near-empty motel lots and apply judgement granted to me from a lifetime of watching movies with scenes that happen in near-empty motel lots. the doorbell next to the office summons first the anxious terrier, and then the lady in a terrycloth bathrobe. i wonder if i interrupted her from putting curlers in her hair. she trades me a room key on a large plastic paddle for my successful completion of a registration card, and cannot accept money from me until she opens the restaurant in the morning.

the next day, when i am hundreds of miles away, i realize i left an item behind. she agrees to mail it to me, along with a handwritten post-it requesting seven dollars and forty-nine cents in return.

a cloud of mosquitoes descend as i struggle to turn around on a small gravel road. the tires slip under me; i know that if i lose my grip here, no one will help me.

the sky collapses rapidly around me, folding over the road and curling tightly around my body. each passing truck sends a wave overhead, like diving blindly through the sprinklers as a kid. ahead, a high bridge vanishes into grey, spanning across mud. sand piles on either side. a cloud machine looms on the horizon. the creek laps at the shoulders. a fawn stumbles blearily out of the weeds.

the weather clears, and the road unrolls before me like the slow-motion breath of the planet. i try to breathe in sync, but soon have to pant to recover.

i am an arrow shot into the space between the earth and the sky, and i still know how to come home.

Permalink
04 July 2019 22:47


today


look, i tell myself. sometimes, you oughta just trust your body a tiny bit more.

i'm piloting this vessel through space and time, and i'm coming through a long period of not believing that it's working. but still, every day i wake up and breathe and eat and move and go and then go back to sleep, so, clearly, something is working.

it's pouring rain out, so loudly i can't hear myself type because i have all the windows open. i left the bonsai on the roof because i'm teaching it to be an outdoors plant; it reaches upwards to the full-grown, mature black locust in the yard, and i entertain the thought that they're communicating. but on stormy days, i wonder if it's a bad idea to leave this tiny tree whose fresh leaves are only just budding, stems that are tinier than the fingertip-sized raindrops slamming into the tarpaper around it, and i wonder if i've made a mistake.

i'm always wondering if i've made a mistake. but i keep telling myself, either all of this was a mistake, or none of it is a mistake. which interpretation makes it possible for me to survive?

cleaning the pocket studio feels like a losing battle. i have too many projects open right now, i say in an excuse to myself. but then i say, that's bullshit, i only really have one project that just happens to need all this space. but then i say, that's bullshit, because i can look at this to-do list that's nineteen items long and growing faster than i can cross things off.

next week. next week, i shove some collection of these objects into containers that i will strap to my motorcycle and hurl myself into the woods, across the plains, at the mountains. next week, i tell myself, after a week away from this, i will be able to move again.

i'm always saying that. i always come back to this. nothing changes. everything changes. either nothing's changing or everything's changing.

we are never truly standing still when we are hurtling through space in circles.

the rain's stopping already.

Permalink
23 May 2019 22:01



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