Day 266: Ballad of El Goodo

I was driving home from the lake. We were almost home and there was a dead deer on the side of the highway. A dead deer is not an unusual site, especially this time of year. As we sped past, the headlights caught the glass-green eyes of the deer and reflected back to me. I have seen the eyes of animals in my headlights many times, shining back at me as a warning to steer away or drive slower, dumb and innocent. But I saw these eyes shining from the ground and was surprised that even in death the deer’s eyes reflected my headlights, bright green. Piercing. The deer must have been killed recently. I did not know such a phenomenon was possible, but my mind is attuned to a new frequency anymore. I can’t help what I witness in my eye or in my mind’s eye.

I am also attuned to the frequency of the moon, its light and visibility. Last night, it was full. It begins to wane. The night Miles died, it was almost new. There was only a sliver remaining. In the next month, it will wane back to new, and every day is a step diminishing back to the August phase I experienced that night when I drove around in the dark looking for signs, looking for him.

Day 251: Holocaust

On September 24, 2007, I started reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I started it in the red chair in the living room at our house on Madigan Avenue in the late evening. I did not move from the chair until I finished it, at about midnight. I have never read an entire book from beginning to end in one sitting, but I felt like I had no choice after I started The Road.

I could not put the book down. It spoke to me and disturbed me. It struck a raw nerve of fear and dread. I have long feared the end of the world. I have been terrified of the end of the world and the collapse of civilization from the time I learned that we have nuclear bombs that can destroy the planet. I know we take so much for granted about our world, and a major disaster could easily disturb the delicate balance of our civilization. The Road is about that collapse and how a man and his boy deal with it. The two wander the eastern United States scrounging for food and evading roving bands of cannibals.  There is no food. There are no animals. Nothing works.  The world is dark, and the sky is covered in endless clouds. Something happened– McCarthy doesn’t say what it was– and everything has fallen apart.

The characters spoke to me, a man and his boy. He carried a gun with two bullets. One for the boy and one for himself if it came to that.

I remember it was cold that night, colder than usual for a September night. The room darkened around me as the light faded to the night. When I finished the book, I looked around and wondered what was happening outside my window in the world. Everything was quiet. The silence seemed to belie the chaos that seethes around us and which sometimes pokes through the fragile cocoons we live in.

Day 181: My Life is Right

It has been too long. I know I watched the Big Star documentary, Big Black Car. But did I watch it while Miles was alive? I don’t remember. I could look it up and discern it by finding a journal entry about it and checking the date.

I know Miles would have liked it. It is a great story but a sad story. They never reached the audiences they deserved until well after they had broken up. We can enjoy them now, their crisp power pop sound. We can listen and wonder what might have been if a few things were different in the timeline.