Mean darkness settles on the horizon. Surrounding the entire
scene in nothingness. Out on this lonely stretch of sand.
Standing in the shade of a poorly constructed shelter. Glancing
out at infinity, or the closest thing these failing eyes can
substitute for endlessness, wondering if there exists some point
along the seemingly unchanging spectrum where things began to go
terribly wrong. Was there some sign?...some barely perceptible
interruption? Would I, had I been able to feel it happen, have
had the nerve to stop the presses and rewrite the day's events?
Things are strange here, though I can't put my finger squarely on the
source. Nothing is too far from the ordinary, but everything seems
deeply amiss. As if I had stepped onto the stage during a play
I'd seen a hundred times, recognizing immediately the familiar
characters and situations, but everyone was speaking in some
nonsensical verse. Leaving me to my own devices of interpretation
and slighted expectation. Smiles are strained. Gestures exaggerated.
Friendly voices keeping measured distances. Neutral faces turning
in long looks. Sending underhanded hints that I am indeed not what
they were expecting. Haven't I always been the master of assimilation?
Leaving me to wonder if I have dropped in inadvertently on an annual
convention of sharp eyed con men...fresh from hour long sessions on
the best methods for sizing up the score. Placing their secret bets
on how long I can keep from talking to myself.
This should have all been stopped before. It's gotten out of hand.
Bad visions are floating in the sky. Elbowing out the clouds.
Weighing heavy on the vista. Foul winds blow through the day,
carrying with them the discarded debris from every corner of this
forsaken earth, broken down versions of their former selves,
unwanted, out in the cold -- piled up against sea walls, stacked
in a haphazard fashion in any number of out of the way hovels,
looking so lost and pitiful as they skid down the road. Sound familiar?
Oh well, we all have a story to tell. Who's to blame when you're
left with an unpleasant final few chapters? I'm just here to see
how this thing ends. I've stuck around this long. Haven't I?
And if you find it too much to bear, then I invite you to join
your average fellow man and do your best to ignore my very presence.
If only I could join in. Oh well...
How long have I been here? It seems like years, but it must be
only hours. The carriers are lining up on the shore. Conveying
open-lipped messages I perceive with ill intent. My hands are
cracked and bleeding. The map of my face has taken on disorienting
contours. I'm running out of time. But it doesn't seem to matter.
At least, not to me.
I happen to have lost my way. I'm stranded on the deserted
back road of an poorly conceived universe. My accounts are
settled and I am full of dirty promises.
I arrived easily enough. Rolling to a halt on the blind side
of one final dead man's curve. Seems I'd had enough. And my
old six cylinder wasn't doing me any favors. I've reached the
end of my line. At this middle point on my way. I've searched
the barren terrain of my soul and come up on empty. I'm taking
stock of my situation. I am ill at ease.
The tides roll in at sinister intervals. As if they are taking
me for a damn fool. It's not my fault I have no place left to
go. I know where I am supposed to be and I understand where I've
been. And I have no particular desire to entertain either. Perhaps
this is as it should be. I'm taking up time. I'm listening to
the crashing waves. I'm too tired to offer the slightest assistance
to my own cause. It's always easier to simply hang everything
up for a while and see what happens. Push the old jalopy into
the first parking lot you can find. Square your shoulders and
make the best of things.
I'd like to remember the faces that have shared the kindled
moments leading up to now. I'd like to think I'm worthy
of this life I've been granted. But I'm having trouble. I'm
making up stories to keep myself alive one more day. I'm full of
plump sadness. I have secured a modest room and a pillow for
the night. What else could possibly matter?
The walls are rising against me...surrounding my peripheral
vision. Dark figures make their presence well known. An entire
world is going about its business in the corner of my eye. I've
surely gone hopelessly mad. But it never matters as long as
you've got enough currency to pay your way. And I'm loaded
with seashells of every denomination. Treasures beyond
my wildest imagination. Lying in full view for all to share.
The world is giving us another shot. It's letting us know
we need to try harder. I'm listening, and I'm going to do
my part to spread the wealth. Starting with that bellhop.
Slipping him a multi-colored handful of still-wet coins.
Giving a wink and an assurance of plenty more where that came from.
He seemed a bit taken aback. But that is to be expected.
The end of the road. The point from which there is no easy
return. You'd like to move forward. You'd like to make your
peace with the past. But it all just runs down the drain.
And you wake up one murky afternoon to find yourself on a misty
seashore with a passkey in your hand and an open tab at the bar.
You make your bed and leave everything else to chance. Misery
will be there with its morning wake-up call. Don't you worry.
My version of history is going up in flames. Just one of the
many beach bonfires burning in the night. I've got a bottle
and my feet are safely buried in the sand. I'm warming myself
against the millions of tiny explosions. Grand releases of
unspent potential, within and without. I'm keeping as still
as possible. The world is swirling around me. Colors tracing
luminous paths against the void. The stars are dancing in
unsettling patterns. The constellations are moving about,
exchanging their parts, letting me know that I have been
charting my course with severely bad information...having a
little fun at my expense. But I'm beginning to enjoy the madness.
I'm actually feeling part of this foolhardy production.
And I don't have a single place in all this vast expanse of
universe to be tomorrow. So I'll take another drink, and lay
my head against a piece of driftwood.
And keep my eyes open as long as I can.
I think I'm going to like it here.
~ ~ ~
Continue reading "Lost Resort"
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