Reversed-Order

My eyes are blue, the whites white, and the pupils shrink and expand like any lens, but I don’t capture the negatives; I see them plain as day.

Shadows bleached white and the light-switch turned off on colour, the conventional worlds gone bizarre and I’m left feeling like I’ve gone mad. Is this evil? This darkness I always see? The way the normal all others take for granted is twisted when it comes to me?

I see the world with it, but they only see it when they look at me.

First Snow: Fury Road

What’s this? What’s this? There’s white things in the air!

I’ll wildly grab my steering wheel and spin it everywhere! The slushy asphalt won’t prove too much to bear, and I’ll stick it too it with aggressive speed and a little less care! Hesitance meekly hiding behind a mask of intelligent caution won’t grab hold of the streets, or keep the drive inline with all the others I’ve been auto-piloting home all fall and summer.

What’s this? A ditch? Outlandish! How could this be where I landed?! If I could be candid I think this is madness and the roads must be worse because last year wasn’t like this! How can we be expected to be flawless when the roads are against us and conspiring a mess regardless of the stress we place on our selves! It’s unfair! A nightmare. No wonder there’s sirens and flashing light in the air with these bullying flakes that don’t care about the disrepair closing streets and blocking exits everywhere!

Tow me away…. And honestly, I bear no blame! It’s insane to think these three lanes can contain all of us the same when the weather’s blowing against the grain and we’re slipping and sliding away! I swear on my name I don’t think I can survive the short days that end this way: slush and mush halting the rush and causing such a fuss!!

From the roadside I prepare to ride in the truck that’s going to try and get me home. I take a last look at the wasteland leading astray man and machine by the hand. What will become of us as the pages of the calendar flip like those of a book left outside as the winter surfaces? Will anything be done to the streets that torment us? Who will we greet the spring as?

We don’t know. We just don’t know.

Organize

If I let it be the dust it sparkles naturally as it’ll be lost to the wind. The wind that howls and breeds anxiety in my chest; that irrational paranoia from my youth.

In the wind it cuts and rubs my skin raw while I hold my breath, clenching every muscle I have like soldiers bracing shields against the storming enemy’s assault.

In my hands it’s beautiful though. A thing of rare wonder that frosts mountains and turns the ordinary in to magic, capable of vanishing the air in your lungs in to a gasp of wonder and awe.

If I let it be the dust it sparkles naturally as the wind will take it for its own, leaving nothing but cold, faint reminders of crystals melting in my gloves. That’s why I cup my hands together and pack it. I pack solid and dense, and then grab handfuls to pack it more. Pressed and rounded I smooth the edges until they’re gone and hold it in my hands anew. The wind glides around it and moves my hands before it’ll get any of the neat ball I’ve shaped my treasure in to.

I won’t see it lost to the feral winds. I’ll pack so cleanly and precise that I can keep it as I go.

Nord

Boil in the steel belly until there is steam out of your mouth: gushing in to the air in white wisps for seconds before you click stop. It’s you and I tonight conspiring together against the conspiracies of my tightly wound mind, and I’m hoping you’re cooler than I in spite of your scalding ins and outs. There’s probably no resolution for us right here, nothing but raw fingers pulling at the knot’s strings without a clue about how to go about solving this.

A few too many swivels of my chair and blank glances at a blank page stock just enough procrastination that I can see it over the wall: stilted and reflecting. To the window, cold to the touch from the outside but maybe the moisture to break the drought, and outside in the light of a tall lamppost I see the pre-cursor to the coming winter nights. There it is! The reason stepping in to the room while I flail about; the rescuers arriving at the island of wild, pig-worshipping children. I dress to impress and head out in to the welcomeness so unwelcome by car tires sloshing and splashing in its mess. I only walk a bit, take a video and photos, then return inside to watch it through out the window.

It’s a brief reunion before it’s a memory, but their ticket home for the extended stay is only so far away.

White Wall

My eyes raked over the last sentence and then I turned the page. I didn’t realize, even though the subject matter was the last few leaves lying on the ground, that the chapter was ending and the next pages laying open in front of me were at the ready. They marched forward suddenly in an immediate pace: brisk and purposeful. It was a new chapter, in purpose by the author, but that’s not the way it seemed to a reader. Just like that, an answer springing from unknown to unquestionable fact, the single story of a character was an anthology. Stories of the same name and face chronicled like volumes arranged neatly on a shelf, their covers and backs pressed against one another so close you would think they longed to meld together. Still, no matter how desperately the space between was scooped in to buckets and tossed out, it was never little enough to press them deeper in to each other than being pressed against one another. The recounting of their individual living never wove together as one would always sleep in to dark that would never know the morning, while the other woke with mystery of weeks and months in length putting them ahead of where they were.

This new beginning, groping in to the dark for a doorknob to a middle, jars me but preserves the inherent values readily for the new piece taking shape in the diligent, reading eyes. This is the next, the coming, and the unclear follow-up to the tale just ended. Don’t judge how the words fit like pieces of chalk trying to mimic those of a puzzle, and equally remain unmoved if they skate like angels on the crisp ice, because these are languages used to speak words of a story that’s importantly told and needs to be listened to in equal measure. There’s a conclusion somewhere at the end of these flipping hills and waves of words in print, a conclusion that’ll requires an author to reverse the meticulous folds of a bundled note and smooth it flat, then put it in the pile of others just like it. The stack builds and as it does so it carries on, in turn, the long walk to the end through door-frame after door-frame of exits and endings like folding hands in rounds of poker.

The seeds are scattered and the dandelion forgotten as a whole. The last of them that remain must have a purpose in mine, or I in its. Like most questions of that nature we’re not sure what we’re asking or trying to know. The introduction looks less like tiny dots and more of the image taking shape, and thus we go again through the gallery in search of meaning.

Notre Dame of Years Past

The bus stop was down the street and a little to the left. We step-off and on to the dirt fading in to grass and out on the uneven neighborhood streets. Letting our feet lead the way that our eyes guided, home we were bound for. The first step in was the right turn off the busy road, the last of the busy roads and the succession of roads know only through bus windows, and taking a high view in of the places I’ve know by my own hiking-curiosity through the years. Those feet on broken streets and the dust transitioning it to the grass, the same kind of grass that browns outside while the heat and haze of summer keeps us in, and the same grass covering the steep hills between the porch outside the house of my little neighborhood.

To streets running parallel, or one to be exact, and I’d make my way along one standing tall between two lying flat. I can still remember the houses that I would see for scenery every day, and find it funny that I never knew those who called them home or those who could see me pass outside their window daily. There was one that was orange and another blue, and one that was white after an open “field” bigger than one I had ever knew. It would be funny to see what’s in quotation marks and compare it to the empty spaces I’d grow and know, but then it was large, sun-scorched, and only counting days between when it was cut. Closer now and that field cut to depletion, and an immediate neighbour of mine plotted behind us and across from a friend. My friend, too, had land so large and spacious but covered in living grass. Life marked their feet all over it, pressing prints of folded blades of grass, but I’m getting ahead of the younger me walking down the lane. My friend’s home and my bitter neighbor’s, two parallel like beams of a finish-line, were the last things I crossed before the fence. With legs of boards like piano keys and a trellis for a shirt, this long guard of our backyard was the next plunge deeper in to the comfort of home. A big tree I would never climb, an above-ground pool seemingly broken and needing repair as a spring tradition, and the white grid of stones making a patio….. it felt like a front yard more than a back one.

Near the corner, the closest corner to my approaching nostalgic youth, was my mother’s garden. There was time when that neat rectangle, where tomatoes and beans would grow, was just more of the yard, but my father turned the earth and soon what grew there was from the seeds chosen and not the weeds randomly thrown in. One thing stood taller, whether planted or a happy accident, with yellow leaves and black seeds turned to the sunlight. I remember those because I had never seen them so wild before and still haven’t since, and because from the house or in the yard you only saw their backs. They grew from the earth and turned their faces, no eyes to be seen while they squinted against the brightness and took in the warm glow from wherever they felt it. From the outside, from the street, for the child heading home hopeful because it was better than school but coming to grips with the misery bleeding in to the comfort, their faces and attention were there like a Hershey bar to a bastard.

The file of youth in the cabinet of my head is as well organized as a recounter might prefer, and as a result a might be putting sentences together with words from different stories, but there’s still accuracy in each of the letters, each of their collectives, and as a result an accuracy to the purpose they’re committing and the sentence they feel they deserve. Even when my friend moved away and the new neighbors repainted the window borders black, or when the house formerly known as my home was sold to someone new, I still have enough of it in my head that it’ll never be gone forever. I’ll keep that, because if a whole world can disappear just because it was a different time and place then what meaning would anything ever have?

Act Three…

You come through in a battered car that doesn’t make the journey in one go. There are days, and nights too, when the engine fails and it has to be pulled over to the side of the road with a frustrated and irresponsible hand-over-hand guiding the wheel there. The passing cars go by while we pull the scraps together just to buy us enough of a grade to make it a couple of more miles down the road, maybe to the next town should there be luck in the air we’ve done nothing to deserve. This litany at roadsides, under scorching heat giving blurry heat vapor edges to the drawn-up world around us or the nights without a heater but plenty of lights yielding sick-inducing headaches, gets the seven of us nowhere and exactly where we planned to be.

It never breaks down because it was never really together, and somewhere out there a zombie still has hands as active as any ever were on the wheel. The wheels were rolling slow and cruising last I saw them: as directionless as a glacier and with far more parallels. I could have kept my shoes intact had I kept my hand off the door-handle and my ass along for the ride, but even though holes would open like starving mouths while my sockless feet salivated as if either them had any kind of semblance of a last meal to punctuate the sentence we started on the blankest page I’d ever seen, I’d rather walk. Walk on the yellowest, most water-damaged, aged, and long-lost page any mis-combined set of uninspired words had ever formed on. I didn’t have a map, and after having only ventured with maples road-trippers I didn’t even realize what they were. It would be a long time before blue-grey-green with a flicker of yellow eyes even navigated me to the hand-holding of a GPS, but I got there.

I walked, and when I could I got my hands and feet on a bicycle to cover the ground to the distant shoreline. The larger the distance grew behind me the smaller the hands holding and shaping my life seemed to become, and while the distance created that illusion I could see for the first time that the illusion was always alluding to itself with every little contradiction in the back of my mind. Every time a voice I didn’t know told me something felt wrong, or that every repeating block and intersection felt like inching towards atrophy instead of a milestone or trophy, the façade weakened and the curtains blocking the window to the world thinned a little more. The trash bags blocking the rear-seat windows were only a view in hindsight and that was the only way I was looking back. Even if I had to walk a flat tire or take the bus I wasn’t quitting, because while they say to never look back with a positive tone I don’t think anything makes you feel more at home then seeing have far the roadside you left behind opines against you even now.

Graphicacy came, and it came because the voice in the back of my head was my own. It was unrecognizable after a lifetime of not speaking in that tone, and when it started coming out of my mouth I marked a spot and started for it. It moved, then moved again, and moved, moved, and moved again. It’ll keep moving and when I reach the end of the concrete I’ll swim or sail. I don’t think you need to move the globe to find your spot, but when you hate the way it’s been going for you you have to end that something to find something that works.