Chapter Two

I had a hangover when I saw the birds. In a flurry, their movements blossomed above a cascade of cars belting northbound. There were two flocks. They approached and admired each other, seeming to bow almost, a mutuality recognized, and the pair began this festive dance, the one group swayed and mixed with the second group, they bulged and proceeded to collaborate, birds from the first mixed into the second, then they split, then reformed under new factions, only to recalibrate, to sway and turn as a unit and mash quick and elegant back into one, to collide in a periscope of nature, a silent paradox that split upward, that split in half, that stood as simple and transparent as sheared paper against the horizon , that fluttered in diagonals and deft shifts, sublime movement appearing at once dark as it dove against the cliff face and bright as the fever of an autumn sun as it climbed upwards, altogether gallant and lifeless, two identical forms merging and deviating back into two different yet identical forms again, they spread apart a final time only to be reunited, as one true flock, that flys under some autonomous principal, to some imbued forever distant destination, answering only to their flock, to their deathless drone, as they moved past the view of my windshield.

I looked back on the highway, the other cars breezed past my peripheral view, silent and choiceless, I can’t hear them, they can’t hear me, I can’t hear their nature, they cannot allow for the possibility that their ramifications to be true, that their force is a tangible entity, that they themselves must reckon with.  The speed, the noise, the numbers, the danger, the blurring of steel into gargantuan bullets, falsely silent within the confines, the stereos as antiseptic, all this, all that this is, is impeded upon. You don’t notice when things drip past the point of no return, when there is no hope, but despair isn’t an option, since obliviousness has taken hold, since you’re at the helm, after so much time, chaos and disintegration unwillingly becomes the norm. And it takes an explosive event to knock you back to the ground. It always come as a surprise when it happens, surely unbelievable, but in the afterglow it becomes more comprehensibly right, accurate, needed even. But everything is so damn wonderful before this happens.

I keep on learning the same thing over and over again, only in a different tone, with a different name. I don’t know if that it makes it more true, or me more incapable of changing anything. Maybe this is a universal truth that bears repeating, that bears to be stamped down into permanence. I get discouraged too easily, I guess. So I paid my bills off, unplugged the phone, picked up my mail and left town for a couple of days.


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