without invitation - 5 feb 2000

at that moment i was two other places at once......saying goodbye at the bus station deep in the winter of 1994 and watching the sun rise out before the lakehouse three and half years later.

the snow stirred up by the shuddering train went whirling past, the sky a miasma of grays and the trees laden evenly with a thin layer of new snow. the iron gray of lake michigan walled up against the shore like something prepared to rear up and swallow the land entirely. i forged several cars ahead to the deli and in the spaces between them the wind whistled emotionlessly between the rough couplings. by the time i'd returned and sat down with three cold budweisers a hollow angst i'd known only once before had settled into my heart like something cold and soulless and dispossessed, something that drained warmth and comfort and life indiscriminately and without invitation or regard for its host.

if at that moment i could have had one wish granted it would have been that the white and gray world moving past in ceaseless homogeneity would be consumed by a blizzard so fierce and so endless and so unyielding that this world might be driven eventually into a state of complete and silent surrender.

amtrak, somewhere outside chicago.


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