There are about six lanes dividing the view from the window in front of me: below, there are cars moving slowly through the drive-through, cars accumulating and being flushed through an intersection, along the road that runs beneath the highway there are single-story buildings visible in that minature, small-town strip of gas stations, storage facilities, and brown strip center offiers; above the roadway, there are flashes of semi-trucks, flashes of car roofs, and a stark black powerline.
If the cars thin out, I can see the deep shadows beneath the overpass, the dark cave humming above and below, breaking trips into sections of town, bivouacking pigeons in the heat of the day. I'm still thinking about voices, about how one voice can dominate a meeting, can divide the participants into producer and consumer. It's difficult to find a balance in a communal enterprise. The highway keeps my attention on the motion outside, dims the chatter in here ao that I can keep a stream of words running from my head to my fingers.
Lately, I've been finding other voices too dominant to write. Short stories, essays, novels, blog posts, radio interviews, status updates chatter through the day, interrupted by the ding of a dryer or the insistent paw of either Merlin or Varda. My own voice, rolling through the quiet house, playing with the text of the latest book I need to read or want to read or think I should read. Eventually, it feels like there is enough language in the world. There are ponds and lakes and oceans and puddles. It has been raining for so much longer than forty days nd forty nights. I am drowning or I am living at the bottom of the ocean.
I am briefly a node on the highway, singing with the radio.
And I am here, breakfast crumpled on a plastic tray to my right, staring out the high windows toward Highway 59 and the clouds that look like they come from a separate sky, one that belongs to the highway and not to all of the cars down below.