“Eleven past midnight’s a good enough time for anything anymore,” he thought as he raised the garage door. Overhead, the moth-spotted light flushed space with visibility and clumsily tugged at the door. The ’57 Chevy Bel Air glowed with its two-tone Tropical Turquoise tint. Clean and polished, he winced as his mind thought of the fingerprints he just put on the body getting in. “What is work without use?” He politely admonished the senator from Hygiene, and advised him to take his seat.
A quarter turn gave the car power and his displays lit up. Georgia Gibbs welcomed him. Three-fourths of a tank would be fine for a ride. There was plenty of asphalt, if you knew how to plan a circuit. Reversing out into the street, he sleepwalked with Santo and Johnny. Oxford skies cloaked while he drove the roads alone. One traveler without destination or purpose.
Absent from its day job, traffic lights stopped in conversational anticipation but were received with the silent treatment. Miffed at its foiling, a reluctant green light was given for safe passage. Safe passage from the ghosts that haunted these streets. Ghosts of the dead, ghosts of the gone, ghosts of his youth, all spun strings helter-skelter around him. Like Cole Porter, anything goes. He had driven since he was sixteen. He knew almost every inch of road in the city, and that which he didn’t wasn’t of any consequence.
He drove at night to lose himself, maybe run away. Was it mental anguish dripping from his forehead? He wiped. The smooth rub revealed nothing tangible, much like his thoughts. Another ghost. Haunting like it knows how. It hurt, but the injury couldn’t be seen by naked eyes or cleverly dressed imitations.
The ghosts drifted about. Memories of all kinds sprang forth, and most of them lamentable in one way or another. In the day it would be the zombies. He wasn’t sure what was worst. “Probably daytime,” he reconsidered, as the undead had Mass. They would all worship the space he possessed and collide violently over the possession of such.
It all became too much around a side street. His childhood home was present, barricaded by the thoughts of long ago. Spectral walls rose from the world around him and towered with malice. It took but the light October wind to blow them down about his mind and he pulled off in a small park. Disappointment was the last and heaviest brick to land. He thought of what he had done, the alternatives, and most of all he thought of the silence and its contrast to the Five Satins.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t know where you are. I’m sorry I couldn’t find you. See you. Know you.” The leather-wrapped headrest gave a little to the right. Crackles and pops of pebbles underneath the tires competed with the crickets, which would win had they persisted. Moments passed and the noisemakers picked up where they left off. Life moved forward, as it always will. Burning vision pulled itself up from the steering column. It was time to go home, when Double chimed in.
“Oh, shut up!” The radio went silent with a push of the button.
© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved