You drive the byway that runs between the pines, past the campgrounds, to where the road dead-ends at the last town. You get out and look around. There’s a school and a church and a broken down barn and long fields of dry, dusty grass. There’s a Mexican restaurant that hasn’t seen the need to give service since the gold rush. There’s a row of peeling houses with dirt for lawns and a lack of fencing. What’s to keep out? What’s to keep in? There’s nothing left of life in Same Old, Same Old.
Then you see it: a lone bicyclist wavering down the sidewalk in the high altitude heat. You wonder where she’s going, where she came from.
You wonder what’s keeping her in this nothing town.
You feel the dead weight of it. You woke up feeling that way, coming out of a dream. In the dream a giant foot blocked your path. You tried to climb over it and around it but there was no getting past it. Standing in the heat of the day, watching the bicyclist like a candle flame in the distance, you realize that it was your own damn foot all along.
And all you had to do was take a step.