Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Free-Writing V

10/27/10, 1:37-

I’ve seen myself through the bayou. I’ve gone through gas stations and trees, broken down shacks and stores with jukeboxes and second floors with holes down to the first. I’ve shot men for the noises they make. I’ve called for rafts and then called down the vengeance. I’ve ridden boats pulled by rope, debarked and continued. I’ve passed outhouses, walked over walkways, found what I needed and moved on. I’ve been there when the panic set in. I’ve seen the monsters men become. I’ve held my drink to the sky and lit it on fire wishing I didn’t have to waste it but knowing without that sacrifice there’d be none later. I’ve seen their legs trail through the muck as they closed in. Gone through windows and come out into hell. I’ve kept the path until it ended in steel and supplies. I’ve known these headspaces more than most men. I know this will serve me well in the end, but until then it’s drying my eyes out.

I was there the day the satellite fell. Pulled men from the wreckage and didn’t bother asking if they were okay because all I had time to do was run as it all crashed down. I’ve seen the outcome of this, and it’s not good, and it’s never good, and I look forward to the day that this is all a story but until then it’s my fucking nightmare life extension mission and it’s not a living it’s a dying, so the guitar man says. I saw him on the corner as he sang his sad song and the walls closed in, and the line broke. I don’t wonder where he is now because I know where, and I’m heading there myself but I’m putting it off as long as I can. Our group was larger back then. Larger by one. Now I’m a nothing, an alone, a weakness they watch from rooftops, the others, the every others. This is what I look like through sights. The call goes out and I have to put my knife into another neck. This isn’t a living, this is a dying, and I can still hear his song. What a sweet kid I saw back in that town, but that’ll be a problem for him, always is with his kind. I wish I knew how to help, what to do, but every time I come close it just gets worse and they cry for me to leave and I hesitate. They insist and I go, knowing I ruined it again. Such a sad way, but I suppose it’s always been this way just not as pronounced, not as obvious. The trail is just worn in now. Ancient paths. Deer have those kinds of paths. You see them in the forests between the trees, worn down places where they’ve been cutting through, going to food sources, and you can almost miss them, seems like a trick of the light, a space between bushes, until you see one of them emerge, come out there, and then you might still miss it but you see it again, and you realize these are the legacies cut into the dirt for them, left to them by their parents and grandparents and going all the way back farther than there’s been a name for them, father back, farther back. The forest bends for them, loving them, knowing they bring with them seeds and berries and rubbing their fur on the bark to itch themselves at shedding seasons but it doesn’t just help them, helps the trees too, takes off the old bark to let the new stuff grow. And that’s how it works, feeding. Sometimes the whole arch just shifts on you, drastically, and you find yourself on the bleeding end of it, and hey, it’s nothing personal, and it’s not business, it’s just eating. Just a living that’s just a dying.

That’s how I see that guitar man and the kid and all the guitar men and all the kids. All those towns I found as obstacles. All the ones that fed me before driving me out on horseback and rifle. My memories of them are travel guides of the damned, laminated in panic sweat and worn at the edges. I miss the rest of my group. Just one, but what a one she was. I can’t talk about this anymore or it’ll show on my face. The next time I pop up on a scope they’ll see it on me and then I’m a dead man. Can’t let them know these things unless you’re ready to draw back, throw it in, let them turn you into another week alive. Never could get past the taste myself. Not the stuff I’m used to, though everyone needs a way through.

-1:51, 14 mins, approx. 799 words

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