Filling in the Blanks

When I’m driving, and maybe my wife is asleep, I find myself looking into the woods along the roadway. Not staring, just glancing, enough to wonder what I can’t see.

Then my brain divides in two, and while one half drives, the other half wanders over fallen logs and low branches. My footfalls are relatively silent on beds of pine needles, and the invisible threads of spiders brush my forehead.

The smell of sap, and shy mushrooms and moss seem sometimes excited by my steps. My sweater is picked at by mosquitoes and the thin dead fingers of evergreens, sacrificed for the upper growth of the tree.

My head in a fishbowl hears the movement of insects in 4 dimensions, and I trace their paths as they grow curious about me, while behind stumps and mounds of old things, leaves rustle as mammals scurry in waking fear of me. A breeze above me forces through the millions of needles and expectant leaves making the softest sound in the world.

I accelerate around the turn.

 

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