#23 – The Road

Shining in the tender darkness

The road exists but briefly, illuminated in an 8-foot scope courtesy of the car’s headlights. We’re driving into some great, cavernous mouth, traveling on a ceaseless tongue, moving deeper and deeper into the belly of the night. I look behind to see nothing, no road behind us, a flicker of red light closing the mouth shut.

We don’t exist. That’s how I feel. We’re parting the darkness like a body cutting through water, but it closes up behind us and only opens if we keep pushing, keep moving. It requires that we struggle. If we stopped, we would go under.

I can’t remember where we are going so late at night. I can’t remember where we came from. I try to see the sky but the forest is too close to the car. Branches draw sharp claws against the windows where the road is thinnest, and the trees choke off the skyline, vanishing the stars.

Something happens to a body that can’t see stars. To look too long at a universe without depth is suffocating, like putting a whale in a fishbowl.

I don’t know where I’m going without the stars to guide me. The forest rushes past, a black bur of unforgiving darkness, and I know that there could be anything ahead. Anything, or nothing.

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