Saturday, April 2, 2011


One of the many amblings of the pedestrian is noticing the growing aches in his legs and feet.  How fast the "Don't Walk" sign flashes on.  It prompts an acceleration in the muscles and footfalls are more pronounced.  Did he press the button for the direction he wanted to walk?  Does it really expedite matters anyway?  There were so many signs with their statements, instructions, and demands.  Did the pressure applied by his feet or fingers really matter?

What seemed to smother this line of thought was a sound - what was that sound?  It sounded at first like the strange and surreal sucking sound of a tape being played backwards.  Voopt.  Voopt-voopt.  It sure did sound like that.  Then he noticed that he was walking under the highway and that it was the sound of tires passing over the road above.  Cars and trucks moving forward or so it seemed. 

Soon he walked by a very large sign for a fast food restaurant and heard another odd sound that passed itself off as a variation of the tape being played in reverse and the sucking was more like a flapping.  And it was - a flapping of the sign which was a tremendous canvas having its name receive a pronouncement of the wind tearing holes in its name.

Eventually, he reached his destination and was informed that his car could not be fixed and he would have to go to a transmission specialist.  He re-entered his car to drive into the flow of traffic with its vehicles moving forward and in reverse back to where they started and where they left from and where they started.  His thoughts leaked ever so slowly along with the fluid that continued to seep from underneath the gas and brake pedals. 

Go.  Stop.  Like a tape being fast forwarded and rewound and played in reverse.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.  That sucking sound.  Sucking the sound out of the road and his feet and fingers whose applied pressure made little difference.  Leave.  Return.  Leave.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.

- Max Stoltenberg

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