now only night driving for fun

I let myself go. The last day of socially destructive night-work, I have developed a mantra of disappearance when there are awkward formalities of goodbyes to go through. True departures imply ambiguity, an uncertain future friendship. The same elements will never be formed in the same shape. There will not be these little pockets of passing hallway, stairway, freight elevator talk, jokes and all, about the squirrel in the living room, or the acupuncture gone wrong, or the crime novel section of the book store which I realized must’ve been a lead-in to the wrapped packages with a fiction trilogy with newsreel crime influences and two different sized bottles of whiskey to send me off into the oblivion of my own new machinations. They machinery of my life set into motion by a crankshaft of random opportunities leapt into at the speed of gerbils in their plastic running wheels.

I let it go. There it was, I peeled off my name from my cubby hole, where the sunflower seeds had been sitting for weeks untouched, the “advanced uncorrected proofs” of maybe-to-be released novels, some nonfiction, sit in transition between the bookshelves in the lounge and the general books office – to my apartment, my clutches, my shelves, my people. There are magazines without covers. Mostly poetry, some music and science. I stole entertainment out from under the noses of the daylight employees. I am there at night assessing their depressing cubicles with Jordan. I am there counting the greasy fingerprints on their computer screens (old dells). I count the neglected plants. The calendars stuck perpetually one month in the past. The plastic in the compost bin. Their plastic. The honor rule to drinking cups of coffee or tea that no one honors. The “salt-death” of the soup. The soup that David said would take “three years off my life.” I once had three of those little salty soup packets one after another in a feverish, bored, hunger. A hunger without the wallet to feed itself on the grocery store outlet world. A man comes up begging for a ride to safeway, a ten dollar bill, a hand-out of any kind, a buy back next friday, a woman and two children calling for dinner, an inability to decide a recourse other than denial and speeding off.

I have to let it go. I gave a man a scone out of the basket in the lounge at Tacoma. There are sometimes little candies or pastries left in there, probably for the morning crew with a pot of fresh coffee. I would eat them because my job was sad and lonely and sometimes a blueberry muffin glazed in poppyseed honey could help with the yawning windshield loneliness of driving three or four hours in the cold dark. The sadness of having to choose music that will keep you awake and from falling into the median with dreams of iridescent glass spheres. Inability to decide. Focus too hard on this song and I’m put in a trance. Focus too hard on that song and I’m put into a trance. Any song that has an ounce of “whimsy” in the lyrics cannot hold up to the tired, focused consciousness of my tunnel vision. The 10 months of driving never taught me more about how to do it better but probably just taught me how to completely tune out. I’ll have to think about it a bit more.

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