Driving to Work

John Fish

Los Angeles, United States

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Trying so hard. I step across a pebble with caution and push the car door open. I listen to one song and then turn the channel with one hand and roll down the window with the other. I try to get a broken lighter to work and wonder if I will make it through a green light. The harder I try to concentrate, the more difficult it becomes to breathe. Signs pass in swift glaring sweeps of color. Streets loom ahead in billowing threads like ribbons in wind. Thoughts of stories that take place in the window of a passing theater that has been deserted for as long as I remember. The “For Rent” signs dance around pidgeons and painted Aztec murals and tree branches leaning over carved facades of stone that entomb the isolated furniture sales people between sheets of plastic wood and fabric woven by women who are starved. I wonder. I wait. I stop and go and am not sure if I am doing it at the right time. Is it just that I’m tired. Am I trying too hard. Is it a brain wave that has been molested by the outside world of humans, forced to stop gliding through the free-flowing space of dreams and crayolas and paper and knives and dribbles of dots and dashes onto carpets of crystal and flower petals and snow and driftwood and hard, ebony stones.
I wander to the glass and concrete cave. I long to return to the womb of art and play and thought and song. I slow and put my blinker on.
A black Mercedes swerves around me to the right side as if the auto were a sword. The dark haired women who forces her head out the half open window squeezes her face into a knot and her mouth is torn flesh.
“Stop putting your brakes on, asshole,” she shouts and races past, up the street toward a street light that glares with the same bright red as her lips.
I shake.
“Well I suppose it’s time to wake up,” I say to myself.
I was trying so hard to be in the now that I drifted into the caves of my imagination. Better check that at the door. Along with my soul.

Artwork Comments

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