Greens and Yellows
The day is bright like the sun right next to me
The engine roars; my heart follows the tune
Her feet rest sweetly on top of the panel
If there is a God, He could take a day off…
His right hand is laid smoothly on top of the wheel. His left arm is asleep over the window.
She was still sleeping. Her head tossed back against the seat, at moments sliding down causing her to raise it back up with a snap. It didn’t seem to mess with her sleep too much and he thought that the road helped, too. It was as plain as dummy’s talk.
She was beautiful, she still was. Even with that mouth clumsily opened and those hair strands falling on her face, even in that weird position she was in. She was perfect.
The sun was shining wildly from his side. It was good — he was not running away.
He stretched his arm against the oncoming wind. First, opening his palm, feeling it pushing back, forcing its way, evading between the fingers. Then went on to stretch them closed together, holding them flat like an arrow. He felt them penetrating the wind, finding no resistance. And then he started moving his fingers in wavy fashion, stretching it and retracting it up and down. Sliding the wind. Surfing the blue in the sky.
He closed his hand with one sudden movement. And opened it slowly, only to find no wind inside of it.
He looked back at her. Still asleep.
He raised his arm up and covered the sun with his palm. The muscles on his forearm contracted abruptly. He brought it back inside of the car and rested his hand over his lap. He opened it slowly once again: nothing.
She woke up with an aching neck. Her head cloudy, the pain sharp. She tried stretching her neck in order to alleviate the pain but didn’t find much success.
The car was hot. She looked over and found the side of the road. What she didn’t find was neither wind nor movement. The car was parked. Everything around stationary, and dry, and lifeless. Reachable, as well. Accessible. Which made it all too familiar, too ordinary. All things she was running away from.
Ozark Mountains, Arkansas
The sun, it has gone to dusk
I hear the sound of silence and nature
I look over. there is no one behind the wheel
She opened the door and stood beside the car. Her forearms against the ceiling. Her chin on top.
On the other side of the road, to the right, she caught glimpse of a familiar silhouette.
The sun wasn’t yet gone. It was merging with the horizon into a pool of cold hues.
She looked to both sides with care and then traversed the highway towards the other side of the road.
He was either lost in thought or lost altogether. Upon approach, the former stood out as the most senseful alternative.
She halted beside him and she stood. Her presence did not break his derivative state so she directed her inquisitive eyes toward other objects, for they would certainly reciprocate her stare in a better way.
At first, she took her notice upwards. The red rage of the sun fighting fiercely against the grieving gray of the sky. The whole frenzy of the affair painting with a single pincel brush the center of the infinite canvas above her. A gold eye surrounded by mist carefully watching over the mountains. Beneath her, descending rolls of pines and oaks that amounted to so big a throng that to count them would prove as vain an effort as trying to count stars in the sky, or grains of sand in a desert, or the tears of a lifetime. They followed in endless rolls, adorning the hills and mountains as far as the eye could see. In front of her, at the end of the hill they stood on top of, a vast valley stretched itself. Its color at that present minute was not possible to discern but she found it unlikely to present the dead tone of green and black it exhibited then when in brighter hours. It was guarded by immense mountains going North, East (being it the tallest and thickest one among them) and South. The whole landscape becoming even more sublime with the absence of sound in the place. Nothing was heard except for the wind, the swaying of trees and some faint howling in the distance.
She comprehended his stoic demeanor after first glancing at all this.
Neither one of them turned to each other while uttering their words.
— So, it’s nice to be attached to a fella that leaves you inside of a car at the side of the road at the mercy of God-knows-what that may be creeping around, ya’ know?
— We would be fine.
— That so… — she turns her head slightly to him —; what if a bear came outta those woods back there, we would be just fine, huh?
— Well, I would. I’m sure I can outrun ya’.
— Oh, good to know about this “we” idea of yours.
She smiles and turns back to the sun.
— Well, it’s not like you’d be done for. You can act pretty good.
— Is that a compliment, sir?
— If it can save your life… — he turns to her with a barely recognizable sarcastic smirk, it is his eyes that stand out as the most telling indicator.
She laughs timidly.
— Yeah, didn’t know that acting experience would save my life in a literal way. Guess I didn’t count on a jogging boyfriend at the time.
— That’s on you, Sun.
— That’s on me, Hazy.
She puts her arm inside of his and lays a head over his shoulder.
— What is it with you and this place?
He’s brought back from deep thinking.
— What do you mean?
— It’s been one year since we last traveled from Chicago to Arkansas and last time you stopped at this very same spot. Just to make you aware, I’m not sleeping any easier on bears.
— Yeah, you don’t remember?
— Not really, no.
She looks disappointed.
— Hmm, nevermind, then. What is it with this place?
He stared at the sunset ponderously.
— I don’t know. I hardly remember that it was this the place that we stopped at a year ago. These places all feel the same.
She turns to the sunset as if to try conquering in it the answer that he was seemingly seeking inside of it. But she failed to guess the question to be made.
— There’s no point — he said, breaking the silence.
Her glance is stolen by this remark.
— About what, you say?
He remained quiet.
— Don’t hit me with that, I asked you w-…
— You asked me a question and I gave you an answer: nothing.
His eyes, then set into hers, moved towards the horizon again.
She is astounded.
— About nothing?
— About everything.
She looks at the sunset inquisitively and then at the ground.
— Like… — he goes on — this, for instance. Where will it lead us to?
— I don’t understand, what do you mean by ‘this’, by ‘lead us’?
— If I understood, then there would be a point.
— Does it have to be a point, actually?
— If there isn’t, then what do we have? Nothing.
From afar, one could have thought that she was looking at him, but, had anyone asked her, she would have said that there was no aim behind her stare. As if all she could see was a deep space lacking in any connection.
At the same time, she felt as if she was floating. Being undertaken.
After some struggle, she utters: ‘Everything.’
—We cannot sustain the test of time. We cannot compete with that. Sooner or later, we lose.
— No one ever said we should win.
— They all say we should win. Everyone is trying to catch up with that lie.
— And by ‘everyone’ you are basically saying ‘nobody.’ What is the real problem? That this is going to end at some given time? I think it difficult to be that.
— No, not that.
— Then what gives?
The wind blows cold but gently as she looks at him defiantly and his eyes glimmer with gold.
— The problem is that we will live on.
She turns to the horizon.
— I think you’re doing a good job — she says.
— Am I? With what?
— With ruining all this for us.
—Vanity is our curse. The sun shines the same, the moon shines the same, the rain falls and nothing changes. It makes no difference where you are.
— What about who we are?
— I don’t think we should ever know that.
— That’s because it’s pointless. We live on, that’s what we do. We live to see another day knowing that that day will come to an end. Choosing to fade into existence is not gonna make anything better. We smile at the mercy of the better days and cry at the mercy of the worse ones. In between that, we keep our hopes to find the ones in which each of that is actually real. That we find ourselves in contact with something tangible, something spectacularly true. We live for days to die for. Some find them, some don’t. Neither one will ever stop life from passing us by. So we might as well accept that we don’t last.
— I guess I think I’m bigger than all that.
— Then you’re bound to be alone. People look for someone that can make them bigger than themselves. No one can do that while trying to defeat existence itself.
— So you think losing everything is a good thing?
— No, I think nothing is everything we’ve got. We’re desperately clinging towards something that holds some or any meaning when, as a matter of fact, nothing does. But it doesn’t matter.
— I don’t follow…
— Take this place for instance. We’re here, just the same way many have been. In reality, this is nothing special, but it is only as special as we find it to be. To many, this is an unique place. Just like, to everyone, this is an unique life. We’re luminous lights fading into existence. We are indistinguishable in a grand specter and many of us won’t ever be seen. But that was never the point. The point is that we’re here. It’s the only point that there is. That we are here.
— I guess I understand.
— I hope you do because you’re dangerously close to a falling death.
He laughed timidly.
— That’s crazy. Having everything and nothing.
— It is.
— A hill before, a Sun beside.
— Life is what you choose it to be.
— I wonder how come so many choose it wrong.
— Because not everybody has a sun in the haze.
At this point in time, the sunset had already turned to dusk and night was rapidly creeping in. The sun was nothing but a blur in the horizon. The sky had abandoned its furiosity and was now willingly giving in to oblivion. The quietness of the place was reverent to the changing of time. Watchful eyes saw the sun merged with light, air and cloud sinking into the earth in peaceful form. The sky above turning dark and then finally sleeping, softly relinquishing its place to the luminous lights. It awaited, with nothing but hope, for the sun to bring another day.
And all of this was seen. But only by those who were there.