Friday, February 10, 2017

Kansas run, February 2014

This event was exactly three years ago today, and I composed the following at that time. The weather is, ironically, abnormally mild in most of the Lower Midwest right now.

    I left at ten minutes to three. I savored the quiet of the night and drove off, stopped for gas and prayed on the road. It was quiet till Parsons, when the snow began to fall faster, turning the semis into muddy comets, throwing slush on my windshield when I got too close. I pulled into a gas station and found one window cleaner with a puddle of cleaner. I passed a snowplow thinking, "I wonder where he's going." As I drove west I composed stories in an old style about the wonders of our civilization, where a man could go a thousand miles in a night but was very careful not to get too close to other travelers.

    The lines on the road grew dim. If a car passed the other way we had a sort of communication, an ad-hoc lane. For a while the highway expanded to a four-lane, with the snow on the left lane completely untouched. I pulled into that lane and felt the joy of first tracks, tapping my brakes to watch the cloud billowing behind me. Convoys of slow-moving vehicles would pass me eastbound. I saw a light ahead, as if a locomotive were stopped sideways on the highway, and as it stayed the same size as I traveled I discovered that it was a semi, and I followed it for a long time. Its lights were goblin faces through the comet's tail. I was in no hurry, and I was grateful for my traveling companion, ensuring that a lane was formed that I could be safe in. As light returned to the sky and I grew tired I noticed that ahead of the semi was a snowplow, which I had been following the whole time, and its snow plume and blade made curious reflections in the light of the semi.
I approached a rest stop around seven, at a most convenient time, and through the haze I found a parking spot, bundled up, read from the book of Jacob, and lay down in my reclined drivers' seat. I awoke to coldness and a white marble.

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