Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Waterfowlers Commute

Then, there is only the sound of the expansion joints passing beneath the tires in a steady rhythm.  This time is special to few- most would rather stay within the warmth of their chambers, their minds wandering through the unconscious, bodies still.  The rig hustles West on Route 6.  Every overpass brings with it a streetlight, growing brighter and briefly illuminating the cab of the pickup as it approaches and passes under the bridge- gone in an instant.  A cup of gas station coffee rests in the console and the steam rises, mixing with the smoke of a lit Parliament cigarette.  Hanging from the rear view a braided duck call lanyard swings with the rhythm of the highway, occasionally tapping off the dash with an audible "CLACK!"   The lights of distant farms dot the indistinguishable horizon along with the occasional opposing headlight reflecting in his eyes.  Winter is closing in, but the truck smells of mid November.     

It is during this time that a mans mind can take the path of the unconscious, his body at home behind the wheel as if he were still supine in his bed.  As the pickup speeds off toward the marsh, his mind races  into the abyss- towards what is privy only to him.  While this may resemble the common daydream, it would be foolhardy to treat it as such- first, because it is not yet day, and second, because daydreams are the work of school children and liberal politicians (both of whom seem to have a knack of getting them paid for by someone else).  The hour he spends driving to his sanctuary is as significant as the first minutes of light over the marsh.  A clearer image; with depth and contrast, emerges from the throws of the night.  In this sight he finds whatever answer he might seek without ever really knowing the question.  The road is empty.  It is a simple hour.  There is no music, no fanfare.  There is only the lights, the coffee, the cigarette and him.  It is here though, in the truck that smells like mid-November, that he cares not for reality.  He must let go, for come mid-December, when the marsh is frozen, he may just discover faith.  The rig hustles west on route 6.