It will not end.
Glare. As I drive along, the glare seems an entity all its own, something that confirms my own lassitude and worthlessness. This road, endlessly straight; this bayou or swamp or inlet, intermittent bits of darkness amidst the white; this car, open, hot, willful, and mindless. Concrete supports rise out of the brackish water, white, uniform, monotonous, hateful in the heat.
Concrete supports rise out of the brackish water, white, uniform, monotonous, hateful in the heat. The gradual curve of the road never relents, never lets me go, the car drives itself but I will crash instantly if I let go of the wheel.
My reverie lessens as I slow for a 90 degree bend in the road. I follow it left, feeling energy seep – very slowly – back into my hands and feet, the mechanical needs of survival outweighing the entrancement of the road. T0 my right, small islands reveal themselves, lush, green, and monotone against the gradations of blue that mark the water. Still no trees, or even vegetation higher than the azaleas. No animal life: no birds, no dolphins, no furtive movements of small mammals, no larger motions of ecosystems in balance, at play. The light reflecting off the unmoving water stabs my eyes as we glide past. Stillness, except for that vicious, vicious light.
As the sun fades from this never-ending day, the road winds and curves, forcing me to assume control of the car. The car is not pleased, but I take over anyway, acknowledging its complaints but forging ahead as I am wont to do. Curve after curve degrades into hairpins that gradually work their way down the coast, forcing me to a path I am too dazed to reject.
The car has stopped. I get out, admiring the perfect alignment within the white markers, lined up smartly with its companeros in a beautiful parking lot. The symmetry of the gracefully curving lamposts, with their solid concrete-and-steel bases, moving from gun metal gray to white to the halogen promise of the bulbs themselves. I stride through the parking lot, admiring the glass and steel construction of the building in front of me. As I walk into the tastefully-done lobby, a gas fireplace sits in the center, with airport-style cushions lining it in a remarkable rectangle. The cushions are bright reds and greens and yellows, with an occasional orange or purple tossed in as a nod to the skill of the decorator. The building rises vertically, seemingly forever, with sharply-suited office executives (undoubtedly) walking purposefully around the center concourse, going to meetings at which they will make apt and clear decisions that will provide us with just what we want.
As I make my way through the lobby the lassitude returns. The other side of the building looks out upon a narrow, rock-strewn beach of tannish sand. Narrow tufts of beach grass grow on each side. The world has become narrow, darker, with clouds all around.
Suddenly, I notice the tide. Huge waves come pounding in. Certainly they will overwhelm this building? But I continue to stare, mouth open, breath shallow and sharp, as the tension of the wave builds. It crashes, impossibly, on the beach. There is another immediately behind it…