I don't mind driving. There's something soothing about the road, the subtle whir-crunch of the tires on the road. I like the view, mountains rising up in front of me, the sky clearing. I like the signs; there are so many places I want to go. I like to imagine that I am just driving, no destination in mind, no deadline to meet or people expecting me. This is, of course, never true. There is always a plan; there are relatives to visit, a concert to see, a work function to attend. Still, I don't mind the driving.
As it is, I spent Wednesday morning on the road to Monterey Park and the late afternoon and evening Thursday on the road back. No, I did nothing fun while there. I was in a meeting all day both days discussing very important work-related things. Believe it or not, there's a part of me that enjoys this. That's the dedicated worker-bee me. There's a poet-me and a writer-me too. And I don't think any of them like each other much, always competing for control of the gray matter.
The poet kept at the window.
Within any given meeting, there are lulls. The topic discussed so vociferously in one instant has resolved itself; maybe someone takes notes; there is silence. It doesn't last long, the seconds marked by the scratching of a pen or click of a keyboard as the group gathers their collective energies to move on to something new.
The poet lives in those moments, forcing the eyes to the window, the waving arm of a pine tree. I think it was pine. Its bark was pale, its long fingers green.
I spent those moments wondering what the tree's skin would feel like against my own. I imagined the bark smooth, cool, rising up at the knot holes in ruffled layers like wall-paper several generations in and pulling up at the edges. I imagined that bark coming away in my hands, each layer thin and brittle like some ancient manuscript.
Beneath? A new thing entire. Perhaps I'd find its younger self buried deep, deep within, perhaps a new species, brown-skinned and vibrant. Perhaps I would nestle myself in the crook of its aged body, two stories up, looking down on the world below in complete and utter contentment.
Poets like windows. This poet likes windows. Windows are, after all, an invitation to dream.
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