6.2011 | You can't go home again


Endless light, unbounded time. Sleep fugitive. I'm a walking wire; I hum.


Sometimes I think I'll just step off. I flirt with it every year, but I always return, some way.

I want it, but I fear it. It's because I can't see an end. Someone show me how this ends, and I'll stay.

(I see now the kernel of the compromise, the insidious collusion against yourself.)


On top of the world, the wind rubbing the car and the carina of black clouds sailing across the ridge. To the north, the arctic, unbroken—wild. Not another road to the south for a hundred miles. Finally, the hunted equanimity. I waited out the rain in the tranquility, without wishes of any kind—not for the rain to end, not for warmth or coolness. Not for love or passion. Not for endlessness.


Traversed a border up there, the quaintest international border crossing on a 200-mile dirt road. The traffic so rare one person worked both sides. I stopped where it indicated to stop and then waited until called forward. Waited awhile. The man came and motioned me through the heavy measuring devices, whatever they measure, and then he asked me the questions. I had the answers, and he gave me back my passport and stood up a little to get a good look at my car, said, "Be careful. We've had a lot of rain."

And it looked like they had. The road was gobbed with orange mud thereafter. I worried about stopping or slowing lest I get stuck. Bottomed out once, the kind hard enough that you look behind to see if you left any of your car back there. Stopped at a place called Chicken to use the loo. A number of people were stopped in that mudhole. A couple patching bike tires. People buying gift crap from the one building there. An RV pulling up to the pump. Before and beyond that, no one.