Not so much the stories as the gaps, not the virtues but the lapses that persuade, feeding my time to the blue-gray distances, dropping my luck into the jukebox one sliver at a time. The sky empties of excuses, the streets fold into the background, we drive and drive. A whole world of want and waste abounds, crowned with clouds and stars. Crowned with all the invisible legions that help me look away. Some days bleed away, and I never hold my name. Some days grant little but ash, and there's not a word to say.
It is in the coffee seeming too hot, the sky too dark, the light too artificial. It is in the pain in the eyes of strangers, the distance we build in twitch and brick. The proof is in the conspiracy of blood and sense, of flesh and ache. The press of humanity that much heavier in the isolation of these made up monuments, these machines of selfish speed. An open book never read might as well be a stone dropped in a well. Not enough too much too often.
I cough into my sleeve, feel the foundations buckle with a raggedy breath. The music made by dead men plays bright and earnest, so much sweeter when listening through the loss. I shift my center, easing the complaints of the worried hip. Benign neglect of a certain kind is inevitably the same as enmity, only harder to fight than any wind or shadow. I have had my sweet days, had my small glories and the slow roll of peace. The rest is uncertain, bit parts in a handful of calamities. A beauty so boundless that it can only lead to ruin.