“…who shall say where one ends and the other begins?” – Edgar Allen Poe

It started in my ears, a Google alert.
It then went to my eyes, lingering lights and trucks.
It then went to my hands, quickly changing lanes.
It then went to my thoughts, “There’s water on the floor. Dear god, this is bad.”
It then went back to my hands, covering my open mouth.
It then went back to my eyes, stinging with tears.
It then went everywhere, the latent energy of it all—the fear, the frenzy, the desperation—washing over me in swift metallic strokes. Relentless and cold.

Thus began the counting backwards, “That could’ve been me. That’s my usual time.”

And at once, life was once again awful and once again beautiful.

I could stomach nothing but the ghostly reverb of Holocene, and hearing nothing new, I saw everything differently. The smooth ess-curves now harsh and unforgiving, I longed for the angular straights. For they were a soft place to get lost in thought. A place where I longed for nothing more than to just be out. Out of the car, out of my head, out of the ocean of all of the feelings and thoughts and ruminations.

And so began the calcifying effect of auto-pilot; the clenched jaw, the blank stare, the empty mind. An inner laugh at a desperate search for purpose wrapped up in FICO scores and unsent texts. An inner fight to stay present, to not relent into what would be easy. To remember long enough to record, to write it out, to share. An obsessive replay of words and phrases and phrases and words. A morbid muttering of memento mori.

And crossing the island, staring at ships on a harbor and cars on bridges and clusters of trees, this came forward: we are saved and slain in our small choices. The stop for coffee, the line for gas, the quick rush to the bathroom, the last minute email. We are spared to save, to play, to share, to love.

So here I am, seven feet deep crying for humanity; yours, mine, ours. Scooping up all of the stolen, stagnant love at Exit 70 and recycling it back to the universe, to us.

— Dedicated to whoever you are, I felt you. I love you.  —


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