I am come to warmer climes now. The smokes of the world subside. My grief for the Little Miss had led me to despair, for a time. I found that one cannot survive for long on frozen candy bars. Although the sky is a clear turquoise today, there are bright glints that I see, always peripherally, gone in an instant. A trick of the mind, I think. All is noiseless now. Stark in silence, windless. Waiting. As night nears, I curl up in a dried bed of reeds, their crinkling sound a brazen assault on this stillness. Even the crawling and flying things have abandoned these parts, and I sleep deeply, without fear. I awake in a morning chill, looking about stupidly and rubbing my eyes. It is just getting dawn, and I am on an island in thick fog. From my canvas bag, I pull out a sweater and warm socks, then my last bit of roast rabbit, a joyful thing to taste. I join the waiting world, hoping for an early burn off to the mist. Shouldering my pack, I set out once again on my westward trek. There are still small remnants of fog in the hollows, and it is hard to make out the lay of the land. Now comes the moment that will stay with me as long as I draw breath. I have been on a plain for a long time now, the land as flat as a prairie. Of a sudden, the brush gives way to a steep drop, down into a valley still shrouded in the fog. The gaining sun has warmth now, and I sit on a stump, guessing the valley’s girth. I make a fire, and boil some water for a precious cup of instant coffee. I sit and read from the stuck-together pages of an old paperback. “The King in Yellow”. Coffee done, I rise and stretch, and there, below, is a thing I cannot encompass. Above the shrinking mists, in the vastness of this valley, I see an army of standing ships, their chromium domes throwing silver back to the sun. In my short crazy life I know, for the first time, what awestruck means.
….to be continued