I am careening up the side of a massive mountain on a road that lies coiled in the high hills of Northern New Jersey while "Last Dance with Mary Jane" serenades me from the radio.
The woods here are full of a dense undergrowth, one that has spawned repeated legends about wild albinos descended from Hessians and runaway slaves that live in them. In a bit of irony, from the highest promenade you can see the brazen lights from the New York City skyline. That only happens in the winter, though, when the life has fallen from the trees in a million fluttering yellow raindrops and leaves a wall of toothpicks along the sides of the road. In the summer, everything is obscured, and you can see little except the fifteen feet of road that your headlights illuminate.
The wheel begins to shake as I hit the brakes on a downward hill. I know my ball joints are bad, and the replacement parts sit on the floor behind the passenger seat. I have no idea how to change them. The check engine light also glares at me. Glare all you want motherfucker. I'm ignoring you until inspection.
I shut the truck off and head towards the house. It strikes me that there are more stars visible here than anywhere where I live. The Big Dipper stares down, a mute spectator to our mundane lives.
I'm not sleeping well lately. I think it's because I'm bored. Unfulfilled. I can't seem to hook a decent job. Martial arts and other athletic endeavors keep me occupied during the day, but as the lonely night arises (slowly at first, and then in a flood), I realize that it's just me and those stars. It is as if when I close my eyes, I'm scared that they will not reopen. For the first time in years, I can feel myself drifting into sleep, with my warring mind fighting at every step.
The other day, a hundred birds flew through a willow tree, little black bullets darting between the limp foliage. I envy animals- life is so simple to them
We are here to live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us