Remember: May the Road Never
Matt Clifford • July 21, 2017 • Creative Writing •
I set off seeking the liberation of schedules and American wonder with the sins in my soul. All emails go. Drive north. Shout country through traffic to the radio’s limits until the windows open and I can hear Jesus. Sheridan Wyoming. You made it just in time for last call. Making rounds, from Denver, officer, thank you, may I have another that is all.
It’s just 7-up. She only drinks shots but she drinks a lot of shots. Two more birthday shots. It was my birthday last week. Do I play guitar? It’s $500/month for a two-bedroom trailer, why don’t you move up here and play more guitar? Life along the big horns, the sun rises and we fall down the stairs.
That’s a big sky over there. How suggestible are my eyes? Language markets interstate commerce the new federal budget includes provisions to sell wild horses. Bodyslam a reporter get specially elected. Pay the Billings, a brewery district amidst casino rows. Bright ideas convening for coexistence, whose shininess doth thy proffer? The gas station has a casino, the chop house a casino, slot machines won the jobs. Automation a steady income dealt card considered progress. Steady goes the railyard west, stable was the bar until bells tolled seven blank space the lights turned off, check up a handle locked as a front door.
Awake in sleepbag curled backseat sweat. What crimes have I committed yet? Piss exit. Fuzz head dial. Yeah that’s my girl in the passenger seat dancing around causin’ a scene. The difference between emptiness and a safe space is humanity. I would ask her forgiveness, but God, I want to speak to him.
Engine. Bozeman. Montana’s full, try North Dakota. Edgy bumper politics, boutique filling stations, foothill vegans. Boulder, is that you? It’s Darren from Boston never thought he’d live in these parts but life and if he could he’d work as the guy who plays Chris Cornell songs and talks to you at bars about historical crushes if you’d like him to. Molly Brown, that’s a position I could put my tax dollars down for, a poet laureate in every neighborhood. If you hear helicopters, it’s someone like Michael Keaton or Justin Timberlake, million dollar application fees, the rich folk love it here now, secluded as a neonazi, in good company. This club is weird, nobody is dancing.
A fetus has a heartbeat as early as three weeks. Abandoned radio stations.
Follow in the family footsteps, when there was only a set of footprints it was then the Lord carried, the Lord carried a holy man, a holy man carried a family, the other families followed, soon there were many footprints, an interstate and temple. The saints built one near a waterfall, Idaho Falls. In Ogden, a train stop debaucherous no more; in Independence, the end of the world. Salt Lake City, most majestically administrative of them all. It is still light out. Pocatello is an hour south and has a gay bar.
It’s harder to jerk off on the road, for all its ejaculation. Rush Limbaugh talkscream radio show millennial men are wimps feminism forcing women to date twice their age cause that’s where the maturity is. He has to be touching himself. I am not touching myself. I haven’t said a word today. I haven’t wrote, haven’t built anything. Not a tissue, not a note. Hate commercials change the station. God, your mama, and me. Go buy something, it’s tradition.
New York was the first state to adopt Memorial Day shortly after the Civil War. It became a federal holiday in 1971. The race to support a troop goes to the top.
The race to finish a drink goes against the clock, laps and laps, countdown one AM two four go. Fluorescent straws readjust slurs stumble shuffle out swinging doors through Old Town, the Odyssey, First National. There is music in the valley. I follow the bass wave like a fly in a shitty rock band. Light pumping from an unidentified flying structure Idaho after hours magic dance club wow continue. Five dollars. I have three. You need five. You need an ATM. Groan fine doorman but I will write about this. I look around until I look suspicious until I find one until I am fees and liquid and a slim jim I snap back it is gone the red hill is silent the gummi bear I ate an hour before anticipated sleeping is dropping I am confused and ready to party and crying. I am a person of interest and disappear. The next morning I am unsure what building it was passing on my way out. I never remember exactly what happened.
This is my way of life, freedom, defensive. I have beer for dinner and McDonalds for breakfast. I can get them both at the gas station, veins pumping ethanol, my body invaded. Hot insides, a mind of poisonous desire. Dreams of women I have fallen in love with and ones I want to, I think about you all day don’t call then I think about her go silent I think about nobody am more myself, most myself, by. I move long and lonely as if I never left. Smooth and fucked up.
There is an IRS office in Ogden, Utah where I have been sending work forms for years. The modern federal income tax was enacted in 1913 to pay interest on our money supply to the private Federal Reserve and expanded in 1917 to fund the great war effort. Thirty eight million people died as a result of World War I. Street tacos for a buck, the days are spread now.
An angel blows a trumpet guarding golden plates.
I walk until my legs are a different kind of sore my feet sweat think about how big God is, bigger than a belief system, a martyr, bigger than a question, how fun ridiculous maddening total questions are, have you accepted a savior in your heart, his body in your mouth, do you believe in God? Of course I believe in God, I’m an atheist Catholic. I take my socks off and drive.
God is great
I love you Salt Lake City your goofy skyline blues every time. I don’t know why I don’t want to analyze it.
I have invested faith in Denver, secured deposits of time. I call you home, you call me home, I am coming home. It has been a never occurrence I decline the charms of another road night Wyoming but I soar the Continental Divide heat defying snowcaps sharp zoned spectrum distance for the favors of a stretched bed shower cleanse and rehydration. The familiar and its particular surreals return immediately. My notebook tells me it occurred and I believe it. I run.