Sunday, December 17, 2006

I might as well be on the moon.

Vastness is cleansing. Desolation amplifies the vastness of a place. Not that where I am is really desolate, but it's a damn far cry from "cluttered". I'm presently sitting on the banks of a lake, actually. There's plenty of sage, just like every other unpaved square inch of Northern Nevada. Even some regular old grass down there in the plain. But it's desolate enough that there's absolutely nothing blocking my line of sight over miles and miles of water (in the middle of the desert).

"When you come down to take me home
Send my soul away
when you come round you make me whole
Send my soul away"

I can also see in every direction, however, exactly where the lake ends. It is bound by a giant's jagged crown of dirt and rock There are craggy clumps sparsely scattered around this lake and one even jutting right out of it, the nominal "pyramid". The particular crag that I'm sitting next to has already been claimed by Reed, Miles, Dean, Dee, Mike, Tina and many overlapping others. I'll keep off it for now. It's too cold to go poking around someone else's landmark. Besides, I'd really be pushing my luck; I think I'm supposed to have a permit to be here.

Pyramid Lake is part of an Indian Reservation. I'm not sure what all you need a permit to do here. The highway runs right through so it's not like you need one just to be here which is all I'm looking to do. Well... sitting, looking, writing... munching some trail mix. Bust me for picnicking, officer, but certainly no fishing, camping, or spelunking. I reckon "trespassing" on a reservation is pretty redundant anyway.

I just need to be here. I need the space to stretch me out. I went around Lake Tahoe months ago when I first came into exile. It's beautiful and epic and profound but I haven't been back since. Its intricate beauty was not the tonic to fill my proscription. I drove passed Pyramid last weekend and decided immediately to plan this very trip to come stay a while. Tahoe I needed to see. Here I need to be.

At work our office doesn't even have a window. I'm face to face with a computer screen all day that's counting on me to solve its puzzles. I go home then, and spend the rest of my waking hours in the cubby-hole of my room face to face with another computer screen. I'm counting on it, this time, to enrich me- but just distracting me will suffice if that's all it can manage. I pretend it's a portal through which I can download information about the real world and experience it at my leisure. Really though it's just a pod, which seals me in and soaks me in red suspension fluid and pipes sensation into me intravenously.

That's why I need to get out here into the utterly open for a while. Give this exile thing a proper go. Spend some time with just me, myself, and this giant body of water surrounded by nothing but dirt. It doesn't drain to the sea, this lake. The water comes from Tahoe and is sent directly back up into the sky by the sun's (usually) unhindered grasp. This lake doesn't go anywhere, it just is. It's massive and existential, and it doesn't give a warm fart about me being here... which is just right.

I suppose the kids who come out here on summer/fall/whenever nights to light a bonfire and drink and screw around in caves do all that because they're fed up with the vastness of their habitat. They make sure to paste their name on the rocks because they want to keep that precious notable irregular jutting up out of so much nothing. I'm happy to be here but I don't care to contemplate the horror of being permanently immersed in vast desolation. I guess those kids must escape, if even just for a Saturday night, over the hill into "The biggest little city in the world!" so they can finally taste some external stimulation. But it's the opposite I need and I'm finally getting a dose.

Exiled out here, finally with no escape from my thoughts, I am forced to produce. The only way out is through.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Law School Exam Time
Three Hour Kicks to the Head
Bend over the Bar

Exam This Morning
Gas Leak at School, No Problem
Fumes Bring Clarity

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fury Fiction

Carrie is waking up in a ditch... cold and wet... naked?

Good God, woman! Cover yourself up!

She squints at the silver sky glaring down on her and tries to roll over. She expects to be sore, given the situation, but she's not. Then again she can't really remember what the hell the situation is, until she sees her rusty pickup at the top of the ditch.

Oh. Right.

...The rusted junker with the busted grill parked right behind her truck... Headlights on... Idling... Empty.

Those shit-heads.

She crawls up the hill towards the truck and her self-consciousness recedes as the slow warmth of anger begins to flow back into her. It begins to comfort her not just as a feeling but as a reminder. The 2-lane split highway is deserted as far as the eye can see in either direction, as usual. She opens the passenger door, pulls her heavy D.O.C. coat off the seat and puts it on. It's long enough to preserve her modesty, but allows an unpleasantly brisk draft. She had taken it off so it wouldn't constrict her movement... just in case.

Well it'll save me from an indecency rap if any poor sonuvabitch catches a glimpse of my flabby ass... need some goddamn pants, though.

She grabs her uniform boots off the floorboards and closes the door. She drops them to the ground and looks back at the junker. Sliding in one foot and then the other she reviews the damage to the front of the car.

Huh... they didn't hit me that hard. Just wanted to get me pulled over. Those Cooters were drunk and crazy enough to think they wanted a piece of this.

Sick shits... Cruising an empty highway looking for anything they could damage... anyone. Who knows where the hell these psychos came from?


According to the license plate... still attached to the bumper... no longer attached to the car. It's lying in the ditch, next to a boot... a bloody boot. The junker's engine gives a sputtering death rattle and finally dies. Out of gas. Now Carrie has just the freezing Wyoming wind as a soundtrack to the reassembly of her memories. She walks towards the car... legs together... arms clenching the coat tight around her.

As she steps onto the pavement between the two vehicles she can see the tatters of her uniform shirt under the rear of the truck. The remains of brown straight slacks are strewn across the road. Returning her gaze to the junker she sees that the driver's side door is gone. As she moves in closer her posture changes... more like a lioness circling round on a gutted gazelle.

They got out when I got out. I had my baton. They just had meth-stained shit-eating grins... well the one had a shank. They tried some sweet talk bullshit... Tried to grab me. I smashed the cracker with the blade right upside his lumpy head. The other guy tackled me...

She's standing just in the traffic lane, next to the gaping hole that should be a car door. Looking into the wound she sees a snub-nose special sitting on the green vinyl passenger seat... which is smeared with dark red. Raising her eye-line leads it out the window to the grass on the other side of the ditch. Dangling out of the tall grass is a pair of feet... one in a boot... one bare.

The moon. In the headlights... in the moonlight... I could see the bastard smiling the whole time. He managed to tear my shirt open before I knocked his teeth out and rolled him off of me. I was looking up at just the moon. Half-on... half-off. I wasn't scared. I knew what to do.

She looks across the highway... sees the car door lying on the far shoulder. Still no other cars, as usual. The good citizens of the State of Wyoming like their prisons remote, and that's easy to accommodate out in all this barren terrain.

She walks around the car and back down into the ditch.

Well he won't need those Levi's. This bastard tried to run while the other ran back to the car... tried to get away... I chased him. He was wrong. I stopped him. I was right.

She buttons up the pants and puts her boots back on. She's not tired. She slept like a baby in that ditch, apparently, but she wants to go home. She's not sure if she'll want to go back to work.

As she starts up her truck and pulls out onto the road, Carrie Utley feels, for the first time in her life quite content just the way she is.