dreaming of zillow

when i wake it’s just me and gus.  a moving van is parked in the driveway.  i begin taking stuff out of the house.  dismantle the shelves made years ago; packing up mounds of ladders and scaffolding; tools to make a living.  and books, guitar cases, my beautiful italian racebike.  studio stuff, racquetball stuff.  the days go steadily by.   there’s no rush about this finality.  carefully pry ed’s sections of stained glass from the front door.  the furniture i made for the bathroom.  heavy slab of walnut for a dining table.  i go from room to room.  in about a week it’s all loaded up.  a pad is laid for gus inside the cabin of the truck.  we pull out of the driveway heading east; do not look back at afton place.  the country passes by with vague familiarity.  i must have been everywhere at some point or another in this long and dreamy life.  something pulses strong behind the curtain but the world remains as it is; shimmery surface full of mostly nothing, like space, with tiny dense pieces held somehow in the matrix, the weight of planets packed inside a thimble.  my life wanders on; past people i have known.  could say i was traveling back in time, but i know how that turns out.  now every day is borne along on creaking floes of blythe celestial indifference.  after a cheeky life i am fresh out of jokes.  but human being feels anything but serious; nonsensical, brimming with misunderstanding; irony, ennui – all those pretty words.  the kind of longing for which an artist always hopes and never receives.  like all of us.  we never get quite what we’re looking for and keep on looking.  as i keep driving.  through the west, the empty deserts, burning lunar plains.  in gas stations and restaurants the people are poorer, more suspicious, cars tinged with rust.  there’s a brief thunder storm in the distance over a vast field.  gus runs in an evening river lit by swarms of pale fireflies somewhere in missouri.  napping beside the road.  and always the truck carrying us along.  i seem to know where we are going.   there’ll be a set of keys inside a mailbox on a long gravel lane leading into the woods.  peace and quiet, everything is left behind.   and now i turn down one road and then another; yes, it seems i know where i am going.   in the woods is a clearing and a little house.  a place for me and gus to live out our last season together, gypsy stewards of the wild.  he leaps, liberated from the truck, and bounds toward the porch.  the key fits; there’s the smell of cleansers.  a spotless white rug that will be white for approximately one more day.  i eye the creek, bright colored leaves, the miracle of water everywhere.  night is falling, full of strange new sounds, the sheltering trees, dark sky of jumbled stars.  i have made a terrible mistake, i know.  but i am always changing, leaving, losing.  looking for a clean, well-lighted place; a touch of grace that wasn’t, isn’t and never will be mine.

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