I’m killing time squatting in an enormous lot waiting for my eighteen-year-old son who wants an enhanced license so he can visit Canada on a whim. I remember whims back when life afforded space. The tempestuous clouds have passed. Sun is licking DMV asphalt. I’m anchored to a scenic town boasting a historic racetrack, a harvest festival, and the unsettling Brutalist building looming behind me; the worn bulky structure hears its death knell from time to time depending on who’s yanking the ropes.
From where I squat on this godforsaken curb, a brown-grey church spire demands all righteous gaze upward. How ironic heaven seems with a conical sabre dispatching it. Too bad the other structure in the foreground is a realtor’s chimney. I’d appreciate a nearby cafe spot with a perfectly crooked chair and a corner tucked away from those seeking God or something else they haven’t found, because there are no answers except at the DMV. To the right of the chimney, an old telephone pole rises. I see only the top third which resembles a crucifix in a circle of wires. A bulky transformer is bolted to the crossbar.
I once witnessed an exploding transformer; it began with a burning hum and a wave of metallic shudders followed by electric fireworks that lit up the late afternoon sky. Every neighborhood kid playing kickball in the street that day, including me, believed the world was coming to an end.
I’d like to leave this parking lot soon, head to a café, and not think about God or whims or wires or the DMV. My next stop is a nursing home where I’ll try comforting a pained mermaid whose adoring prince can never kiss her stroke-distorted face; he died in sleep seven weeks before she lost her way to the ocean.
When I’m freed sometime today, my rearview mirror will reflect charmed scenery, autumn sun, and brown eyes unaffected by humble prayer.