The bend in the road, the one above the city that shows all the lights, for every light on another one off, and you wonder if there is a master switch somewhere that can make them shine all at once, or not at all, and the silent road brings your life into a somber picture show, starting grainy, showing you in slow motion as you laugh in childhood, or get drunk for the first time with friends on a night you will never forget, or fall in love and cry out of it once, or twice, or three times while the white broken lines on the road keep you centered, stop you from swerving too drastically while all the highway signs remind you that no, this is not your exit, keep going until the sunrise meets your determination, or until the asphalt turns into gravel turns into dirt and a woman is there at the end of it, with child, your future family that you think will come, so long as you remember to fill up your gas tank so you can get to that moment and not putter out before you can fall into their arms.
And the thought process is a heavy one, shortening of breath that goes cold on the dashboard and seeps down into your toes and your exposed fingers on the wheel. Not even the song playing for you is enough to bring you out of the stupor you hold yourself in, not even the craftiness of your mind is good enough to paint a perfect picture of life, the lyrics not enough to brighten your imagination with colors it can paint with, and the pessimism of your tailored mindset leaves you with a turn signal that keeps blinking and will never go off, unless you can bring yourself to slam on the brakes and say to hell with all of this and make that change in your life you have meant to make, the one you go to sleep with and the one you wake with, deprivation only a word that you have made real on countless evenings spent watching the sun hide its rays behind miles and miles of mountains and pebbles that have sorrowed themselves smooth like all the oceans waves in the world have swept over them and wept over them until their rocky outlines transformed into rounded, bearable curves.
Then you find yourself rinsing your mouth with faucet water, holding a brush in hand with toothpaste on it while looking into the mirror at yourself for the first time in months, pulling at the facial hair that needs to go and running a comb through the tangles of your hair until you look pleasant again, enough so to get a smile from a girl or a free cup of coffee from the woman behind the cash register who reminds you of the first girl you ever loved, her black hair falling around her smile which is fashioned like a first kiss, effortless and untarnished and impossible to replicate unless you are willing to settle for mundane words that have been used tirelessly to describe this kind of girl.
You wonder if there is a woman out there with a name you will like and a personality you can dance with, quite possibly she is in another country or another world or someplace where your mind wants her to be, waiting there for you with the final chapter to your first novel and the first paragraph of your ever after, and she can exist in a shack or a mansion or on a cliff with waves crashing below you really don’t care as long as your happiness is with her, too, and that laughter you thought you lost on the windy night when everything blew away from you while the hail fell down and all the people in the city were foolish enough to call it snow.
And then your bed meets you, that familiar impression you left in the morning still waiting for you at night, and you fall into it and are molded into troubled sleep and dreams mired with thorns and lined in the salt you never get with margaritas so that you wake in the morning with a bitterness to your bite, and a seriously flawed perspective of who you are and what you have become while the alarm clock kicks you into a gear you would rather not be kicked into, and the beautiful realm of nothingness becomes a reality you must live in and is not so beautiful anymore as you throw on your work shirt and throw on your work smile and drive countless miles pretending everything is alright until you find yourself at that familiar bend at the end of the day, with all the city lights flashing their spirit or dimming their appetite, wondering, again, if there is a light switch somewhere out there that can chandelier you on to a better path, at least one fit for a twenty-six year old with an average build and sensitivity levels that can either sink him sorrow or fly him freely, and the purple, melting sky reminds you of a memory you had once, the one filled with all the people you have ever cared about, some of them still alive, others long gone, faded, only remembered in photographs and albums held in glossy paper with smudge marks, and you question, all over again, whether that bend will ever be the straight that guides you where you have always needed to go…