Drive Off Walton’s Mountain

Like you weren’t even there. You drove into the country, you wouldn’t stop for pennies on the dollar, you went through the center of the village, and you wound yourself around the hill — more noose than ornament, even as you drove to find yourself. You were never there.

You are in the phone booth at the end of a suburban night. The store windows are like Spiderman pink through the shell of a nightlight; they are on but not on, and they are no comfort. Why do you seek this shit out? You think of being seventeen, the girl you courted with voices and ruses, pleas and withering. She is out on the tiles of the floor in the middle of your Northeastern winter. You will turn on the radio when you get home on a Friday night. Sure, it’s 11:30, but you don’t know enough yet to know just how dangerous that hour is. You sleep with the idea that the day begins at 8 or 9 PM. It’s really such a short time. Two or three hours of the day. Put the radio on under your pillow.

Cold air, whistling cold under the stars on the night of the Mayans. It’s something like the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Here you are. Everyone else is inside. You are outside, under this slit box of a sky.

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