City Limits

I was on a confused city limit highway in a rusty old red truck I borrowed from a dusty farmer driving in circles looking for my father. The thick metal body of the vehicle rattled as I shifted gears over the cheap asphalt, but all the parts were well built and she drove stiff and strong. The truck had gotten me through the barriers and obstacles that were in my way, but as I pulled around another off ramp to an underpass rest area, I was disheartened. There were no signs on how to get back the other way where my mom was waiting at the college to help me look for dad. Part of me didn’t want to go back, the roads there lead to dead ends into rivers and were more confusing footpaths. The only difference was that the roads there had art and spectacles around it where the highway I was on was utilitarian, streamlined and uncaring.

The off ramp lead me down to a strange parking lot. Several other cars were down there. Jeeps and BMWs and a Mercedes, modern and plastic and brittle. My old truck backfired and echoed with heavy gears around the underpass giving me looks from the middle aged layabouts and a couple energetic naive youth. I shifted down, pushing the handle so worn only the silver aluminum on the handle shown. I rolled my window down to ask one of them if there was a way to get back to the highway in the opposite direction, each I asked were friendly, they told me to follow the parking lot to the other ramp. I knew they were wrong, but I trusted them anyway. I knew deep down that I’d be going the same way I’ve been going.

I didn’t know if I was looking for dad anymore, or what I was looking for. I pushed the sluggish truck on , getting new power from each gear as the highway flew by around me. The cars of a generation speeding past me to whichever city we were on the limit of. The cars were driving themselves.

I thought maybe I could turn around if I got to the city and throttled up to overdrive. 

Arrival

Glossy eyed he looks to the window where daylight spangles the green growth of leaves across the parking lot. The early morning birds mock him and he rolls over to go to sleep, waiting for relief from the troubles of his life, waiting for the right moment to hit the big time in a world where everyone else has done what’s already done.

The sunshine has been extolled, the games have been made, the thoughts already thunk, nothing remains for him. His hobbies remain as augmented jewels in his crown, the sweat on his forehead is for his garden alone and his misplaced dreams stalk the fields of his mind like whistling stone titans in the dark rain.

Were they dreams or expectations?

All the while a calm voice eternally tells him, too softly to surmount the churning wash of intricate internet data and jabbering movies and maddening music, and fear. It is too soft to hear until he quiets his mind, faces his feelings like a stalwart rock in the ocean surf. Only when he lets the ride play out can he hear her in his mind…

And he finds a kind of peace. A small kernel of what cannot be touched, cannot be beaten down, will not yield to the pounding waves, the moving birds, the thunk thoughts. Each day he finds it harder to find, each day the weeds grow taller and he forgets to make the journey to the place of purity where the titans never walked. And in clarity like a gong, his body relaxes and he gets out of bed and makes coffee.