Let’s say you’re on the road to Texas. Actually, maybe Paris. Or not Paris, Texas rather. Or, No let’s say Minneapolis..
There’s an obituary columnist from a local newspaper trailing you, always three cars removed, 4 hotel rooms down, and 2 seats away at the diner with the undercooked eggs that seem to taste the same in spite of the different names of the waitresses serving them.
He’s trying to get close but there’s a freighter of wolverines blocking you in every which direction.
His observations from single-digit distances of removal are opaque to say the least.
They’re transparent in a way no whisteblower could assist.
His notes are illegible concoctions that if transcribed into a painting even Rothko would consider too abstract.
He’s on deadline for his local paper (wherever that is) and he needs to get this sorted immediately.
When you’re sleeping tucked under unkempt sheets and a handful of whiskey sours in your lopsided motel room, he slips into your car with a .44 Magnum.
You’re on your way in the sleet of the early morning when he props up from the backseat, the steely flesh of the .44 brushing against your ear.
He demands a fact check.
You swerve into the highway.
He lobs facts that resemble a story that appears familiar but different when read aloud by a stranger.
You dip between lanes.
He pulls out a diagram with cut out pictures that resembles artists and songwriters that you’re familiar with.
You’re pushing past 70 now.
He says he’s trying to fill in some missing details.
You want to hit the brakes so that the trucker behind you will flatten you both.
He’s listing more “facts”. Text messages, videos, recordings of 6 hour long phone conversations…
He wants to know what was worth it, what’s true.
California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas comes on the radio and for some reason all you can think about is Barcelona.
“None of it,” you say.
You take your hands off the steering wheel
You will become what you deserve