19 October, 2010

Walking is like running while appreciating

You don’t even know where you’re going. There are a million tiny busses running on a million tiny little tracks, and you don’t even know the track, let alone the bus. Trees scratch the windows, scarring paint tracks painted by people who weren’t making minimum wage, and you just keep your eyes significantly drier than the torrents of oil falling from the sky outside. The driver glances back in his bubble-distortion mirror, and you find yourself smiling at him whenever he glances up. He’s probably in his sixties, divorced, and has one daughter he loves more than life itself. He drives this bus that you don’t know the destination of across the country, the world, his life, so he can give her presents at Christmas. Once she couldn’t come home for the holidays, so he sent her packages with her gifts, but she never said “Thank you, Dad. I love you, Dad.” He still drives, sends packages, and calls when he can, though she rarely picks up the phone. You think all this to yourself, so you smile at him, your face distorted into a half-moon that resembles the one reflected on the wet pavement. The bus comes to a stop, and you decide to get off. The driver kindly winks at you as you pass, and you just smile again. It’s still pouring fixed-gear bicycles and unneeded plastic objects out here, so you pull up the dark hood of your now damp, blue hoody. The corner up from the one you started on has a convenience store on it. Surreally awful music from the early 1990s plays over the intercom, tinny and with the depth of character similar to that of a bowl of phillips-head screws for breakfast. Reflective linoleum requires you to look at the garish fluorescent lights tepidly looming above you. There is just another woman in the store with her three- or four-year-old son. He’s picked up a Batman action figure and is running around, fighting with gallons of milk and bags of Cheetos. Thunder rolls from the slate-colored night outside, his eyes get big, and he and Batman run back to Mom and hold her leg through her skirt. She absent-mindedly rubs his head, the thunder fades, and Batman’s nemesis is now her left shoe. You smile, again, and walk back out into the street, leaving behind footprints that won’t disappear until the 11:00 mopping. Headlights show you a silhouette you don’t really recognize on broken-down brick buildings, whipping by; Doppler moves faster than you. A cat runs down an alley behind a dumpster. Freakishly realistic newspapers display last week’s news as you begin to whistle the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. You don’t mind that your feet are wet from the downfalls of the sky’s civilizations because you know that everything is just collateral damage. Something is only made out of the destruction of something else. Finite lines crease your face through winces of impartial anger for an unfulfilled past and misinterpreted prophecies. You remember the time that you cared, but now you care more, and by caring more, care less about most things. Wet shoes and busses and skirts are still just as they were after moisture citizens show up, silhouettes are what you make of them, and nothing defines anything unless you want it to. You reach the edge of town, still not knowing where you are, and watch lightning strike a giant oak in the center of a field. Rabbits and other wildlife run out from the small fire that results, looking like bits of ashen newspaper that now hold nothing but warmth. The half-moon looks back at you and the crisp, cool rain kisses you a little too forcefully, but you like that. You think you might see a figure, another silhouette across the field, but you don’t make any effort to see for sure or make any greeting. You’re contented to find a seat in the wet grass, lay back, and look at the light show while the half-moon holds you tight and you’re simultaneously found and lost a million times every second by each drop of oh-so realistic beauty. It’s Christmas day. You smile.


katherine.irwin said...

EPIC. I like it. A lot.

I also like the new blog look. I don't know how new is really is, but it's the first time I've seen it.

Love ya

Ben Harris said...

This is strangely powerful, and I don't know why. Congrats on getting published!

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