:   Einlainteim

Dear Chad,

Hi. It is windy today. Pleasantly so. I like wind, so I suppose it’s always pleasant. It’s not a fair statement, as it could never be unpleasant. Perhaps it’s fair, but unnecessary. A sandstorm overtook us in the middle of nowhere. Not you and me, but someone else and me. It was extremely windy on that day. And yet, despite all of the flying grains and particles, the wind was more invigorating than debilitating. It activated that old dust and sand, gave it new life and purpose. The invisible hand or some spooky thing. Lifting dead matter, resurrecting it, that’s the stuff of late night tales not springtime drives. Yet there we were, on a nearly deserted road in the midst of a sand fog the likes of which we’d never seen. Excepting every photograph of a sandstorm, of course. And now it’s fall, the wind blows harder at night, and lifts me up up up up up. Above the house. Above the treetops. Above the clouds, which briefly and frequently obscure my view of the suburban lights.

Back on earth some man stares at the dead leaves swirling on his empty street. A light rain falls. Lying in his bed he thinks about the land across the sea. There are so many questions. Why does it rain blood? Why does not the snow melt upon my tongue? A thing believes because a thing believes because it believes. But does it believe because it sees or see because it believes? If someone, something, whatever stirs next to him where there is nothing, where there seemed to be nothing only moments before, is he awake? Will his dreams never end? Outside the wind will continue its blowing, the sky its darkening, the stars their dying, on and on without end. Until they do. Until we all do. And then? He really needs to stop asking questions. It’s hard to sleep.

When those eyelids refuse to stay shut, you’ll tell yourself to think of nothing. You cannot count sheep. There are no sheep. This is the suburbs. Sheep are unwelcome here. You want sheep for sleep, live in the country. We count shingles in this neighborhood. And potholes. Whatever. Don’t you dare try to bring those sheep to the city. That’s even worse. They count stories there. Parking garages and meters, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and bad haircuts. Stupid sheep. That’ll never work.

I work in a store. I don’t want to talk about it. I won’t. Nothing you can say will change that. You can eat living human flesh. You can race cheetahs and bears and other exciting animals. You can brush your teeth a couple hundred times in a row while rowing a tiny boat across the English Channel and wearing that Martin Yan Halloween costume we all loved. I guess then, but only then, I might talk about work. What it entails. Where it is. Who signs the paychecks. It occurs to me that I do not know who signs the paychecks. Is that bad?