it is an 11 hour pull from Maryland to Atlanta. I am driving a dead man's car, so his spirit is riding with me (a man's spirit gets into the things he maintains with his hands. if you had some fantastic steampunk contraption you could read back the intent behind each uneven spot in the fender he hammered out, pull synaptic state from the torque on the spark plugs)
the car sings his spirit as we ride. it is a cool strength, like a deep pool of still water.
this is not the only ghost along for the ride. the ghosts of the not yet born, our digital children, seep in through the cell phone. the antenna they ride is a mandelbrot set, each fold contains the whole. they whisper to us and tell us where to go.
we are no longer on internal guidance, spirit. we are a beam-rider now. we are the missile they called sparrow.
I am running with the windows open, since the AC is busted and I can smell the country better this way. it is molecular communion. smell the dogwoods, spirit. smell the taut heat of the mid-day sear. smell the cool rain as the anvil thunderheads break against the blue ridge mountains. smell our constant companion, the asphalt, its low bouquet here waxy, here earthy, here funky and almost human, like a lover's sweat.
it is a long golden evening in the mountains, spirit. it is almost june. the thing about june is always the knowledge of august. summer has become indian summer in America, spirit. august will be here soon.
when the light fades we are riding down a river of embers. taillights and flashers, the glowing rivers of the firefly american empire. the asphalt breathes moist, giving back the day's heat
behold, spirit, the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. 85 erupts from two lanes to six, downshifting from William Faulkner to William Gibson without engaging the clutch. there is low overcast. the sky is actually the color of a television, tuned to a dead station, a dull concrete phosphorescence.
spirit, we are some fantastic steampunk contraption. we are running down the groove in the record of America. listen, can you hear it? we are singing its ghost.