On the Road

I’m sorry you have to join in the middle like this. You were probably expecting a beginning, a middle, and end. But my story’s beginning is lost, unknown to me now, and equally the future. Our narrator has gone. But just to keep moving, I have decided to narrate myself. You’ll have to forgive me though, I’m not a very good story teller. I don’t have the imagination or foresight. I can’t see very well. And I don’t know much. The only thing I see is the ground I crawl upon. All I know is I am thirsty and my arms are tired from grasping at loose soil to drag myself along.

It is afternoon and there is a low heat and a magenta light. I think the light comes from the sky above. I think there is sky above. Sometimes I wish I could join it, and be in the air and be free. My knees are cut from jagged rocks as I go over them. Oh, oh, on and on I will go; there in the sadness of morning I will go on and on, there in the loneliness of afternoon I will crawl, on into the night, into the valley of the shadow of death with a serpent’s breath. The mouth is dry but the bones drier.

My mouth forms sounds that are no longer mine. Oh, omniscient narrator! Won’t you come back, tell the reader what you see, tell them what will be. Or take me to a cusp, a crossroad of signs so I may decide. Or give me the words so I may change. Words so I may walk rather than crawl, words to sing not murmur with a mouth of dirt, words to make it rain so there may be relief in mud. I wait by a tree, but it provides no shelter, for it is dead. I feel its branches like wrathful hands on me, binding everything to everything, connecting me to myself, moment to moment, so I cannot escape no matter how fast I crawl. An immense feeling overcomes me, in this solitary nothingness, in this unknown world, which I struggle to describe and see for I only see the ground upon which I crawl, it is a feeling that I do not like nothingness, but nothing is all I have; no rivers run, the wind does not blow, no mermaids sing, the birds have flown. There is nothing but the deafness of words I cannot understand and a road, the only road I know, that I drag myself along so my story may continue a little longer.

© 2017 Occasional Dreams
In response to daily prompt: Cusp
Image: Red Dirt Road by Jim Denham / CC BY


21 Replies to “On the Road”

      1. I did think of Kerouac for the title, but the content is closer to the absurdity of Beckett. Have you read his Molloy trilogy?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it’s not an easy place to start as it’s essentially plotless and written as monologues, but Beckett’s imagination and use of language verges on brilliance. A good place is probably Waiting for Godot. If you’re interested in absurdity and existentialism, definitely give Beckett a read.

        Liked by 1 person

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