I wish I could go for one of those long country drives tonight, the way I used to do when I lived in Bloomington. Turn the stereo up on my car and head out on a two laner going south or west or both and look for some interesting smaller road to take and then somehow end up down by Oolitic or over by Spencer. All the while passing small houses sitting back from the road, with lights on inside and sometimes a dog still outside and barking. Silhouettes of cars and trucks in the driveways. Maybe a 4 x 4. Maybe a tractor too. A barn every now and then with clumps of trees beside it and clumps of trees behind the house and clumps along the road and fencing stretching out for miles running along side the shoulder until the road crosses another little one just like it and then the fencing turns the corner and everything’s lit up by big pole lights. And the road curves and goes up and down and over little hills and passes small stretches of nothing but maybe a field or what used to be someone’s very small farm. And if it’s clear there would be stars. Not stunning like out here. More like fireflies, but miles away. And I could drive out in that for hours, singing songs to myself, and getting myself to stop thinking for a little while and then coming home late, after midnight, and not turning on any of the lights in my house and crawling into bed in the dark.
I had a strange dream last night where I somehow cast out 17 or 18 versions of myself onto a small race track and sped all my selves around it, like my selves were human versions of Indycars, low to the ground and lightening fast. And my one version of myself that was most me, stood back and watched and there was a crowd watching too, like in a grandstand. I think I was what they’d come to watch. Because every time I cast out a new me, I’d say, “watch this.” And the track and grandstand were in a clearing in the middle of the woods that felt very much like the Oregon Country Fair, and like something special was supposed to be happening. And the more me’s I cast out the more chaotic the race got and the crowd was “oooohing” and “aaaahing.” Finally I said “watch this” one last time and I threw a big metal ball, a ball as big as a car, right out onto the middle of the track and all the Indycar versions of me flew up into the air or skidded into each other or tail spun out while I stood and watched, kind of detached, kind of curious, kind of like, “oh, fuck.” I kept thinking to myself I wonder if I’ll ever be able to put myself back together again.