Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 AM

James sleeps, or an approximation of such. His routine calls for him to roll over every thirty or so minutes, shifting the weight from one shoulder to the other, sometimes jostling himself awake momentarily, bumping himself from a dream state into an almost stupor. An annoyed almost stupor. Particularly if the dream was saucy.

This morning we will leave the pirate's music off, better to hear the grunts of the eighteen wheeler shifting gears somewhere below and out of view, perhaps a food truck making commissary delivery to a nearby hotel, or maybe a long hauler resuming his journey after a night's sleep at the La Quinta. Maybe he had himself a girl and a bottle, a quaint notion that is less quaint in the actuality than in the notion, many of these truckers beyond gross in both appearance and disposition, some also very simpleminded, and pity the poor thing that earns a living lifting her skirt for the likes of them. So maybe it was merely the appeal of a hot shower and fresh sheets that attracted our trucker, no one here cares if he had a drink or two, surely he's sober by now, and so he has refilled his thermos with coffee and is off to other parts, his noise now replaced by the swift chopping of air coming from the transport helicopter descending on the hospital across the street. It is clear now why they call them choppers, such beautiful vibrant sound as they cut and carve the air. And in the background plays the soft steady pulsing of vehicles on the interstate, as unnoticed and constant as a lung filling and emptying.

No doubt the sounds are lovely but it is the sight of the lights that demands one get out of bed to witness. At least one not named James. If we had time to count, surely they would number a million or more. Such extraordinary simplicity. Nothing more than little blinking dots spread against the horizon and settled along side some fatter and brighter ones, a few fuller and more constant ones, all strategically placed and not just randomly scattered so that there remains sufficient darkness to accentuate the brilliance.

Santa Rosa Street cuts through the heart of this canvas with an empty stillness that grounds the whole scene, makes it somewhat believable, and the only light permitted to shine on this stretch are the three traffic lights that alternate between red and green whilst nary an automobile trespasses. This beautiful aberration can not last more than a minute or two. Then I will look and see the headlight of that first vehicle accelerating in this direction, into this captured stillness. And I think that will be okay: the lone traveller offers its own resonance.  

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