You don’t come across the tent. You see it from over a mile away. Your first glimpse of it is when you ride past the crest of whatever miserable excuse for a hill this part of Nevada has to offer today. There it is, a giant Easter egg, striped white and yellow on the outside and full of crap on the inside.
As you get closer, you begin to notice the signs inviting you to “be a witness” or asking if you’re “looking for hope”. In three or so days, those signs will be gone.
Nancy handed me a sparkler because I wouldn’t stop complaining. It worked for a while too. As I waited patiently for the larger fireworks, I watched the tiny bursts of light from the sparkler fade into the air around me. It wouldn’t have been so bad if anybody wanted my help, but Peter was spacing out into a cup of coffee, counting and recounting the fireworks, while Nance flirted mercilessly with a boy from the neighboring campsite. Watching her adjust her shirt into oblivion was making me sick, so I focused more on the myriad shining creatures leaping into the night.
(in fictional Craigslist posts)
Missed Connection: The girl who nailed me in the auditorium
You were hanging fliers in the Corman Auditorium at Tufts. I was building a set. You handed me a nail and sang really loudly to my radio. I’ve never known anyone who could get the high notes to “More Than A Feeling”. If you see this, meet me at Phoenix Landing on Thursday night. Karaoke. I’ll be the one struggling my way through an ACDC song.
(Or Adventures in Speed Dating circa 2350)
“You have to maintain an even pace. It does you no good to get all zig-zaggy and creative. Not in this business.”
Buster gestured with his hands, indicating what it meant not to zig-zag. The table between us an honorary earth and the various condiments honorary crops in need of watering.
“I mean sure, the storms of Old Earth would have done whatever the hell they please, but this ain’t Old Earth anymore. We’re all bio-domed up now baby, the whole enchilada. Now we can focus on maximum efficiency.”
When the lights got low on the bayou, the shadows of the bald cypress and tupelo trees stretched long across the water. The tendrils of their branches interrupted only by the patches of grey green moss or the ripples of an alligator searching for dinner. Paw Paw would say that the trees were travelling, sending their souls out for safekeeping. The Devil comes at night, Paw Paw would say, and the birds and small mammals might seek shelter in the trees, but where would the trees seek shelter? They had to keep their souls safe just like everybody else. For weeks after Paw Paw first told me this, I was frightened whenever I saw my shadow. I imagined that my soul was seeking shelter too and I ran and ran to catch up to it, to draw it back into me. When Paw Paw got wind of this, he laughed so hard he fell over and made MeMe spill her berries. He explained that only trees could do this, that we were stuck with our souls for better or worse.