Meditations on the Roadside

I walk down the centre of the street. No line separates the traffic, they part to miss me. Do they care about my life? or do they just want to keep their paint jobs intact? I try to look at them, but I can't take my eyes away from the horizon. My legs tell me that I have been walking all day. I have no memory of the time before, but I believe them, and try to rest. Something will not let me rest. I plead with it that my legs need rest. Does it hear me? I don't know. It doesn't answer. I resign myself to my fate, and continue walking.

The pavement is warm beneath my bare feet. Ripples form on the horizon, distorting whatever dwells at the end of my road. I blink, could the end-dwellers be distorted, rather than my sight? I grow afraid. Panic creeps into my heart. I don't want to go there. I can't stop.

There is no traffic that I can see, I risk trying to cross the road. Something strikes me from behind, throwing me back to the centre. `Was it a car or a truck?' I wonder as consciousness slips away.

I wake up. My body is walking towards the horizon once more. I've become a passenger, while my corpse carries me to the hell at the end of the road. The body walks with a limp, one of the bones is broken. Probably the thigh, I can't tell where the pain is coming from.

I am much closer to the crossroads now, the distorted shapes seem larger, familiar, but still alien, changed. I don't want to try crossing the road again, but it's my only choice. I try. Discontinuity.

I'm looking at the horizon again. I try to escape.

I wake up once more. I'm beginning to hate the crossroads. Fear seems such a paltry emotion compared to this. I throw my hatred against myself, trying to force my eyes away from the horizon. They come free, and I glance around me. The land seems to be a park of some sort, inviting me into itself. I check both ways, and cross the road. Halfway there it hits me.

I find myself on another path much like the first, but the horizon is bare. Did I just cross to another road disguised as a park, or has my own path changed.

I wake, the long grass of the roadside covers me. The smell of clovers permeates the air. Below me, the cars race down the road, I wonder again why there isn't a line to divide it.

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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1991