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  • The path was well worn.

    Not where he walked with his feet, this was his neighborhood, an unpaved road named "Dan's Highway" that connected nothing but two other dirt roads, cutting between Mary's Way and Bob's bend. But he did see a glimmer of vivid blood orange setting sun slipping under the moldy edges of those winter weighty clouds.

    A sunset worth seeing from top of the hill is always worth a try.
  • No, the path was the neural one, the synapses firing up for no apparent reason, back there. To that there.

    It had been long, longer than maybe ever that we went back to the dark pit, longer since in self disgust he pawed through the scraps of her social media traces. Less and less she revealed. Nothing personal. She had gaps of months there. Why he measured made no sense.

    He avoids the arithmetic of how many years ago it was. At least the period of crying behind the wheel of the truck on a familiar highway ceased. He read all the books on regret, all the sage talk show advice on how it needed to be let go. Overcoming it. Saying goodbye to it. Getting over regret in ten steps.

    Once he had tried to work through his rise and fall, using some web site called "cowbird" to revisit his photos of the trip a year later, trying to write different poems and narratives though that year. Did he think he would find some breakthrough insight, or just another chance to toss his soul on the spokes? He managed to move through the loss of his mother, yet he could not go past the cliff he had pushed her over. He could not go past the vacuum of reason in his own soul logic. The numbers would never add up to anything sensible.

    It was all sum zero.
  • Life did not stop.

    Work, travel, friends passed by. Professional success. But there was never anybody he met to crack open his sealed spot. Maybe it was a lack of viable, more likely his own lack of even trying. It seemed mathematically impossible. Irrationally he thought if it the ultimate price he would pay, like some nihilistic version of the movie "Groundhog Day".

    He would not open that box of sealed letters and photos in the back of his closet. But he would also not throw it away. Keep the edge of the blade close.

    Her light, that shimmering light in her eyes, had not gone out, he had stomped it out, kick it in the dust with his own ingrown, unspoken, unfathomed confusion. He lost because he just could not say what that was. He lost because .. there never really was a found cause.

    He just fucked up. People do it all the time.
  • At the crest of Dan's Highway the sliver of sun turned out to be a full on beam of soul awareness. It was right there-- his regrets were worth holding on to, not as some torture, but because of what they represented. All those bok authors never had known what he had known, even if it was not long enough.

    He was giddy with clarity, it made so much sense. Words weren't working, but he needed to rush home, to try to write it down, because like that sun, the awareness would fall into a puddle and flow away. The dark flew back, for an instant, his face bent to the beam of light the light of memory- how long it had been since he felt that light.

    Teetering on the edge of the road, his balance fled. Falling into the frozen cold mud, a chunk of 250 million year of Kaibab limestone piercing his skull, the worms one day will be finished crawling though his eye sockets pointed at that sun, he knew forever.

    His regret held with cold hands was not what he had done to lose her, it was the regret of having lived and never lost himself in the deep pools of her eyes, never being handed a small piece of paper with a poem she had written from the plane toward the first rendezvous... these words... these... precious... words... foreshadowing his own twinkling light he let go out.
  • Austin City Limits

    You're down there
    Somewhere
    From my window is inky darkness
    Except
    One of those tiny twinkling lights
    is you.
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