colors and light

Slept under a bridge last night
million dollar real estate
right by the river lights,
orange lanterns shimmering in ripples
hit the road in the morning heat, blue cloud puddles dripping over asphalt
Hitchhiking is easier the day after a mass shooting is all over the news
couldn’t catch a ride for a while
went and sat in the shade
you’re supposed to be trying to catch a ride, my brain said
just chill for a minute, my heart said.
an hour later the impulse gripped me to move,
walk to the truck stop
so i did
and immediately a guy eyed my pack and offered me a ride west
no i can’t explain how these things keep happening
barely moments after i think “i’m hungry”
somebody walks by and offers me a slice of pizza or a bag full of ripe plums
or else i trip over apples fallen from the tree i’m walking under
[not joking]
so he took me an hour west
it wasn’t until after he drove away
that I realized I left my map in his car
but maybe that’s a sign i need to
stop relying on colored lines and pages to tell me where to go
arrived somewhere
hiked up onto the bridge over immense tangles of highway overpasses
hot wind slamming through steel
the mountains took a bath in the light
everywhere egg drop clouds falling colors raged
a dirty traveler walks through the dusty wind
drank a can of juice outside the gas station and
hid from the dust clouds
then barefoot on the grass to meditate with the ruby red grapefruit sunset
slept tucked away in shadows but
sprinklers came on in the middle of the night
unfamiliar city + 3AM + 45 degrees + soaked and all gear soaked
it was miserable but it was ok
i knew what to do, how to take care of myself
not to be happy or comfortable or well-rested
but to be ok and safe and alive
at the bus stop the next morning a woman circled around and handed me a piece of paper
“saturday bus service doesn’t start until 10”
she was deaf
i scribbled down, “are you heading into town?”
we drove in silence
she would point at beautiful things and we would both nod
hid from the heat in a cafe
i sat across from a muddy homeless girl
i made a sandwich and passed it across the table to her
she reached into a plastic container and removed a mealworm,
wriggling between two grubby fingers,
and fed it to the baby bird that was riding around on her arm.
Then she took the sandwich and ate it
that evening i sat on the highway ramp in blinding orange light
rocking new sunglasses that were given to me
(i had a picture but i lost it, and i gave away the shades to someone who needed them more than me)
and then a pickup pulled over, they had me hop in the back
propped up my bag and leaned back against it,
stretched my legs out as we picked up speed, pulled onto the freeway,
wind raged, warm sun-baked wind all over me and colors and light
strummed ukulele at 70 miles an hour in the back of the pickup truck
drove through sunset scents of fresh hay and mint and apple orchards and cows and lakes,
zooming along with the sky and sunset clouds,
this is why i live this way, it was one of those moments
where if i died that second
i would be completely at peace

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One Response to colors and light

  1. Shawna says:

    Hitching a ride in the back of a pickup really is the most blissful experience.

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