Letter from Utah: Part 8 of 12

>This post is part 8 in a series of 12. You can download the entire essay by clicking here, or you can read the serial installments as they appear.

The days pass like brief mirages; the light drawing shadows out across canyons, bending objects like a Dali painting. At night, my dreams stretch into endless histrionic sagas, divided into the credible (misplaced hotel keys and broken shoelaces,) and the absurd (I come home to find my apartment filled with goose down.) It becomes impossible to determine if anything is real.

Wherever we are, I’m still scrutinizing the car’s battery monitor. “Come on, come on, come on,” I’m thinking. I even try telepathy, to no avail.

In a darkened hotel room just before sunrise, I stumble to the bathroom to pee, and when I pass by myself in the mirror, I catch a glimpse of my scruffy face. Something happens. I fast-forward through the years, the decades, mistaking myself for an old man, a stranger. Someone who sits in the same chair all day. Who calls his friends but doesn’t see them much. Who buys toilet paper in ridiculous excess. Whose house is so covered in books and papers and old magazines that he feels almost strangled by them. The scary part is: How is that any different from who I am now?

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