In a fog


May 18, 1980


The fog curls around the street lamps like weary dogs looking for a soft place to sleep, creating dim halos around each down turned bulb, these like exhausted eyes slowly closing, but not quite drifting off into dream. This same fog floats across the barroom windows and around the orange glow of the cigarette I breathe life into as it breathes death into me.

Cars and trucks rush through this in a panicked race to get to the other side of something hat does not have sides to get through, flicking high beams on and off, seeking clarity they will never achieve, honking their horns at each other, in a snarling dogfight none can win.

It is late and yet at the same time early, as night bleeds into morning and I am confused as to which it is which and what I am still doing up when like all good dogs I should have found my bed of fleas.

The Tick Tock Diner’s neon sign glows through the fog, giving color to this otherwise colorless world, painting the tops of the cars and pickup trucks that fill its parking lot on every side – leaving me to wonder as I warm the palm of my hands on my cup of coffee, why I always end up here.

The chill of the night makes me shiver; and yet I feel strangely safe, tucked in my silver coffin car, scribbling in my notebook under the illumination of a dim dome light that is somehow brighter than everything else.

She was happy tonight – a rare moment lately that I came to appreciate.

We do best when we talk about writing and language, a passion we both share when all else fails. And we spoke for hours working out terms for language, I jotted down in green ink in the back of my journal, looking to follow the same road map through the fog of discovery that she used, seeking to discover the same mythical places beyond it, or within it, that she had found.

She is so intellectual that I had to simply what she said so I could understand it, bringing her lofty concepts down to my level, weaving through the maze of concepts I barely clung to.

My terms are so primitive as compared to hers.

Words for me are simple elements, less crafted than flowing, like the water I watch along the river each morning when I take a break from my jog.

On some days, they are choppy, some days smooth. But they always lead me somewhere, a persistent and clumsy sailor, working his way through foggy thoughts to some new idea, and meaning.

Don’t laugh. Even when I jot down now is an exploration, and in my head I still see the river that is up this highway, and can follow back to it by clinging to the tail lights long this misty highway until I reach it again, always knowing when I come near it, by the change in the air, always aware of when I cross it, by the change in me.

I always lost in a fog of language, wandering around, discovering brand new things inside of it I never expected to find.




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