He doesn’t want to write today — Not even these few words. Last night he said, “When Dr. Con left with the firetruck and ambulance, supposedly to make a house call when was that? I mean how many days or months ago?”
She said “This morning.”
And something was understood. Once, years ago before his cannabis phase, his friend driving very fast along the highway in his lovingly rebuilt BMW, steering with one hand, rolling joints with the other, he had first felt, The Fear, the Obliterating-self posturing, when one is stuck in a between-space. The little illegal radar-detector flashing below the dashboard, the snow-filled trees threatening to melt and fall, and the weak heater, offset by the open window venting the smoke from the endless roll. “ Here,” The friend said, “Take the wheel and I’ll roll a big spliff.”
And he did. The two-handed roll, set against the black /white frame, was indeed big — dangerously so. And since he didn’t yet understand, some people operate better stoned and fast, he offered to light it and then smoked as much as he could. As much as he could.
The light under the dash shifted from green to a tempoed red, and the car slowed. Slowed. Fishtailing just a little bit. A little bit. It was enough, The Fear took hold. He knew he was going to die and no matter how far distant the event, it would feel like it was happening now.
The Cop Car appeared lights flashing, pulled over behind another fast car, incongruous in the waves of black /white flashing a dull salt damaged but distinctly yellow anomaly. Just another roadside attraction. Nothing to see here. Keep moving. And as the BMW accelerated into a snowstorm dark he realized he had a choice: Submit to It or embrace the Ecstatic arc passing between two unknowable absolute poles. He began to laugh the driver joined him. As the Beemer folds into a road long past his friend is heard to ask, “Hey any of that spliff left? What? This is a roach! Where’s the spliff!”