There was a dark, lonely road of dirt that led to a bright spot at the end. There were leaves, turned sour and clotted in the mud. The road was lined with black trees, leaning in, almost like an arch, and at the end of the road rose up a white house – old, a bit crooked, quiet, serene, adjusted to a different time. There was peace there, yet malice. Distant ghosts hollered from the bellies of old lives once standing on the wooden porch and looking out. The land surrounding was wide and thick and green. Trees rose up at the edge of the interior. A crooked fence could no longer stand – like an old man wobbling on a cracked cane.
I don’t know how I found this place. It just appeared to me at the side of the road and I turned. I was lost somewhere in Tennessee in the dead of summer with the sun shimmering like an earthquake, love leveling off, hope and desire sparingly filling me with fuel. I looked over at the empty passenger seat where she once sat. Red Hot Chili Peppers was blaring on the stereo – a strangely upbeat sound that somehow calmed my nerves. And I wondered. What is this world? Why are we here? Why are we all driving around like maniacs? Where did we all come from? For what purpose is it we breathe?
I got out of the car and the only sound in the air was that of the door slamming. A woosh, clap kind of sound. The soles of my shoes rubbed against the rough ground. I shielded my eyes from the sun and looked at the place. It seemed abandoned. It seemed abandoned like my soul.
Sometimes my heart bleeds through to the prayer. I reached down to touch my shirt at the breast. It was red with loss. I stepped up onto the porch. There were wooden planks abandoned by time, rough with neglect passed down through the ages. The door was dusty and wide open and I stepped in. The windows were broken. Glass littered the dust on the old floor. The place smelled like distant lives. There was a table, old and worn, but no chairs; rectangular, seating for six, perhaps, and a cabinet for plates and glasses now long empty and worn. An old, oval carpet collected dust. The kitchen was cleaned, but abandoned, the cabinet handles gripped the prints of hands that long ago touched. I needed a mercy pill for my pain. My jeans were torn. I felt sweat in my head. I miss that lava kiss she forgot. I am here, floating, like some device of unknown purpose, filtering through the traffic of frantic lives in a world we created completely based on cost, on money, on profit, on gains, on plastic corporate coma induced bullshit.
I sat in an ugly parking lot of some ugly American strip mall today. I ate a sandwich. I called my girlfriend. I drank some diet lemonade cranberry drink. The asphalt is stained. The human heart is drained. This is life? The beckoning call of cattle to buy. The 40 -plus hours a week of slavery? Fuck. I can’t change this dismal world. Piggly Wiggly should not be some dirty whore dump. It should be stars in a child’s mind of summer night.
The house reminded that dead is dead and that this place was indeed dead. It would be swallowed up by the weeds like a dragon to night flies. This world is too coarse for me. Gunshot blasts just rang out in the night. I need love. For my life was so distant from it. Love has never been love. It has always been just a passing phase. A story, a trick, a lightning-fueled tick of the breath.
One of the sweetest, best moments of my life lately, having been sitting in the comfort, wooden din of the Pinewood market, having a sandwich and an iced tea looking across at my blonde wonder, my wife invisible, the love of my near-ending life, biting into sweetness, talking, laughing, being quiet, refrigeration, menus, recipes, what cake shall we have for dessert? The hot parking lot. Paper towels at the table on a roll. Farm-fresh eggs on the shelves.
For this world does not value love, or peace, or kindness like it should. The world does not value life. This world values money, and plastic, and the hours of our lives. This world values slogans, catch phrases and trademarks. This world values a money hungry god. This world values one life against another – when ALL lives should matter. This world values hatred and greed and starvation of the dark-skinned. This world values profit over people. I’m sick to my stomach of it. I’m sick of the black-inked souls roaming this world.
And I get caught up in the hatred, the ugliness. I insult my own girlfriend – a tainted mind sees a circus in the background.
I remember opening the door to spring as a child. It smelled, tasted so wonderful and full of possibilities. It tasted of fresh, green grass. Now I drive through clotted hatred. I roam through a collection of lost souls every day. My solace? A lover lost between the lives of everyday living. She sleeps in my bed and I kiss her soft cheek goodbye in the caustic morning. She is my atomic bomb of peace and love, and yet I rage at her because of my imbalance. Normal is not good enough, eh? Throw in some madness to the mix.
The house was blind and smelled of death. It was hot. Much too hot for a normal person to brave.
I am neither sad or happy. I am neutral. I am Switzerland. Some weeds were growing up through the foundation. The cement was cracked. I feared asbestos poisoning and went out. My car stood there like a soldier. I got in. I drove off. I watched the sun set amongst the fields and the green. It was beautiful, but it was ugly and lonely and time consuming at the same time. The consumption of time. That’s a hoax they will never convince me of as being necessary for the greater good of the company.
Maybe it’s starting to rain. Maybe I need to just relax and not have a stroke. Maybe I just need to patiently wait for the next world – for this one is like a deep slit in the wrist – it will eventually kill you. Maybe I should just let the love I have cradle me in the deep of night and let peaceful dreams of another world sweep me away. She is beautiful beside me – an angel clutching my hand past midnight, an angel I wake up with – coffee and waffles and a long kiss goodbye.