Monday, October 10, 2011

On the Highway

I always want to evade the first part of the trip, the people, traffic jam, of too many people together, too many cars, the heat, pollution, cement, one building over the other in a grand mass of filth. Plus the people, again, yes, the people in their cars talking, with other people talking, on the phone talking, mute with their A/C, it’s better that way, away, sealed. I get desperate, I turn from one side to the other, I look at the people not wanting to look at them but they are unavoidable like breathing the heat. The motor vibrates, sweat comes down again, and again, I turn, catch someone else looking and we hate each other, it must be the heat, sweat comes down and we move bit by bit, bit by bit like the sweat that comes down. WHY IS IT SO HOT IN THE TROPICS?! And then we move, really move, like cars were designed to move. But there’s still too much city, shopping malls, fast-foods, traffic lights on the streets below. So I look at the street, now the lines repeat themselves in perfect order yet they are never the same, like words. A truck passes past us and I can’t but think of tragedy, us included, how it would be like to die at any moment, why not, why not die there?, unpoetically, trivially, even without a mention in the news, so many people do. When I’m done with catastrophes Cayey is usually there, I know because I look, really look through the windows as if I had never seen those mountains, the divisions on the rocks, the trees that grow next to the highway and just before the big bridges the lonesome tree that is always there at the top of the mountain like a memento, it stands triumphant like a monument yet nostalgic. I love the tree. Wish I could get there. No I can’t get there, it’s too far up. Well I could, you know, but I won’t. Wouldn’t like to disturb that image either. Then the sea from afar, gold-colored if the sun is setting, and the cattle oblivious to their end, helping themselves to the grass. The panorama changes gradually, green becomes different shades of yellow, everything dried up, and the eventual fire consumes the plains where it seems hard to imagine that so many people could live close by. After a while, those monstrous letters approach like an omen, P - O - N - C - E, the gate to Inferno, a city that at the end of the 19th century was the hope of the nation, now turned to its complete opposite, a city closed in itself where its mentality decays gradually though it counts with a great museum and universities, where there are TWO bookshops for school books, where fundamentalists rise their flag triumphant and where there is a religious school that tried to put me in order. People aware only of here and now, no, they do not know themselves, living in their own contemporary bubble. Friends who don’t understand me anymore, aunts and uncles who disregard me, trying to impose their hollow views, unaware of what I know. A space I can no longer call my own. I’ll take that highway up once more


(Following Kerouac's style in 'On the Road.' I've noticed I fail to keep the style going midway through, but I'm not really interested in rewriting it.)

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