Crossroad

I’m on a long and pin straight dirt road driving a vintage Ford pick-up. I don’t know the year, but older than me, with crank windows and big round fenders. The original paint may have been green, but it’s thin and faded and I can’t tell where the decomposing rusty skin ends and the smut of my journey begins. Powder fine dust creeps through squeaking metal seams and sticks to sweat and tears and streaks down my skin. I have no baggage. The truck bed, capable of carrying so much, is an empty void as if somewhere along the journey I’d left the tailgate open and all the contents flew out. The passenger seat sags with the memory of previous companions who journeyed with some previous driver into their previous unknowns and toward their own crossroads. Their ghosts taunt my aloneness.

I hear distant human voices. Some jeer me, attempting to project beliefs onto my empty canvas. Others encourage me with old soul magic; the mastery of faith and the knowing that all things happen as needed. Their words lost in the drone of pistons and combustion and exhaust.

My intersection lies somewhere in the distance. I can’t see it yet, but I know it’s there on the horizon. I feel it like a secret in my gut and I’m not sure if I’m nervous or excited. Still I drive. I ask the universe for a sign. I hope, with every dawn seeping into my existence that I’ll somehow mysteriously know which way to turn. I can’t go straight. Straight is not an option. For my sanity and insanity, I have to turn. But my truck has no power steering, so the changing direction will take a strength I’ve not known before and I’ll be fighting decades-old muscle memory that wants me to go straight. Into sameness. Into comfort.

The sky is cloudless, however in it I see figures. Their colors splash the endlessly monochrome sky with vibrant life. The beating of their wings match the pounding of my newly wild heart. Raucous voices call me in a language both foreign and familiar. Feral laughter drowns out all other noise. Their eyes smile and I bathe in the comfort of their unity. They are my sign; the sign for which I’ve been waiting; the sign I’ve had all along.

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