Then I come to a seductive bend in the river. I know this place because I lived here once in another life - a life that was filled with disposable coffee cups and plastic grocery bags. In other words, oblique diagrams and simulated, late-night motions. Is this what I dragged my corpse through the desert for? Did I really travel this far just so that my tongue could turn a dull yellow? The streets are filled with countless people. Again and again I’m told to think of them as my contemporaries.
* * *
Then I come to a point on the map where two vast bodies of water meet. I stand on this shaky ledge, letting the wind slap me in the face, telling me how naughty I’ve become. I know this place because I’ve read about it in tourist brochures and viewed it in airline departure videos. Also, there is a razor-thin white line in the water where two currents meet. This line serves as a perpendicular counterpoint to the horizon and tells us in no uncertain terms what we should do next.
It tells some people to chase after the granular strings of desire.
It tells others to light off sticks of dynamite.
One of my contemporaries drives a bus.
Another one of them takes pictures from a tripod.
I can’t tell what is more compelling, their unique identifying traits, or their manufactured uniformity.
* * *