Discover more from EPISODES
This week’s series consists of more excerpts from Foolscape. If you want to read more, please subscribe! Makes more sense that way. Promise. -JA
You drive across a continent. You have places to be. Not really. You have one place, in particular, not to be. She looms in the rearview mirror. It’s like one of those optical phenomena where a city on the lake looks to be right in front of the observer on the opposite shore, or a ship appears to float above the horizon, giving people fits of religion. But it’s right there, it is. Same skyline, same angle. Skyscrapers like jagged teeth, a glass and steel flower in bloom, a spiky crystal growing from a rotten corpse. You could go on. You go on, adjusting and re-adjusting the mirror to dull the apparition’s effects. Which is what you are doing when you drive off a bridge over the Mississippi. It’s wintertime and there are bald eagles all over the place. You are in your car on an ice floe. The birds are majestic and see you as a threat. What would you like to do next? ‘I’m pretty sure I know how to deal with several angry eagles.’ Okay. What do you do? 'I cup my hands around my face and call to them.' How do you call to them, exactly? ‘FLAWLESS EAGLE SOUNDS’ The eagles are unimpressed. They mock your attempts. They make fun of your car. The tow truck driver really doesn’t want to talk. ‘You see that back there?’ The driver does not respond. ‘The fields are broken by ice. The moon reflects off the ice. It’s pretty much just all moonlight and ice out here.’ You learn nothing about the driver or his life. He drops you and the ill-suited car off at the dealership. When the car is fixed you continue to drive. The snowflakes get bigger, louder, more rude. No one knows where you are. Your phone sure doesn’t. You cross the Continental Divide, or you don’t. You stop in a town with a gas station. You drive into the snow. You are on a continent. You stop in a town with a restaurant. You ask questions, casually, of the staff. ‘Any news about Chicago?’ You are in a motel room. A machine is here.