Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Fractured Description

There are only two things, mainly. The object before you and your relation to it. Always changing, whether you notice or not. A thought is a beginning, but it is not complete until you set it to work in the world. It is not complete because there is no world outside of the objects of your consciousness. It’s all in your head, slick. Even when you have gotten the words on the page or the paint on the canvas.

Yeah. The outer is the inner. So if you want to know how I am doing, all you have to do is look at my bike. If grime covers the plastic, so much can be said of my soul.  I set out into the streets, motivated by feelings that I wish were behind me. 

The night is moist. I keep thinking that my visor is blemished, that I have only to clean it to stop the world from looking so cloudy. But the thickness is out there and it casts a sad halo around every brake light. The halogen lanterns that light the streets repulse me as ever, drowning the world in that sick sepia. In the summer heat, there is only sweat between leather and flesh. Tonight, I will not be looking back.

A small hill can feel like a speed bump if you go the right speed. From the fast vantage, familiar roads become alien and new. Contours turn to kinks and gradual bends become hairpins. The vista is always coming up; it is truncated by time and my frenetic movement through space. In a true moment of beauty I can’t feel the machine. Neither can I feel myself. I am lifted out of that void by my own doubts, but I return as the next corner draws closer. One good turn. I begin to feel the ink unwritten on my skin. 

The streets let me pass. They do not challenge me, nor do they slow me down. The engine screams for me. It is a tone my voice can’t sustain but that my status demands. I hear the sandy grind of the brakes between downshifts. 

I stop in a dark place of endless tarmac. The light of the city obscures the sky, though I can make out one constellation. The Swan. I think back to a time when I walked the streets of New York in the same frame that now rides me through Tampa. It won’t do. Even the tragedies that don’t belong to me are mine; I am tired of giving so much to the road and the wander. I ride it with heart but it adorns my rubber with nails and chips of wood. My back tire is a crown a thorns.

The Atlas rides on. I search for a clear sky but the darkness that I need is too far away. I turn away from the heavens and focus on the smell of the exhaust, the feeling of the front end, the reflection of knower and known. It will be time to turn back soon. My greatest rival is the dawn.

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