A distant stream promises relief from this heat, its gentle wake carving the path of least resistance through woods so dense you’d swear you were the first. The sound of water compliments the birds above us, whose needs rival ours in importance but not complexity. Their songs effortlessly rival any created by our hands. You’d swear you were the first. Not a footstep or cigarette butt, no litter in sight no signs of man’s blight. The trail ahead resembles a lightening strike on its side, well traveled by those who avoid headlights. Maybe when it rains water flows through here? It seems more carved than a few sets of hooves could provide. Leaves brush against one another overhead, the opposite of pedestrians in a busy intersection but somehow just as familiar.
These precious days remind me of a time before I was alive. No bills to pay no alimony no thrills to chase no fucking money. A time before the thought of increasing carbon emissions and deforestation kept me from getting out of bed.
“These trees are the bees’ knees!” I feel safe here. Talking to myself isn’t weird if no one can hear. I don’t think it’s weird at all, but we don’t exactly spend much time outside ourselves. The douglas-fir that’s been supporting my back for the last half hour drops a seed in my lap as if to agree. I’ll take her word as gospel and continue on.
“The brush ahead is no match for my superior intellect,” a thought that swims through my mind urging me on as my body reminds me through thirteen itchy white spots and various scrapes and bruises that I am nothing here. Twigs crack under my feet sending critters prematurely out of eyesight and long untouched branches brushed aside whip ’round with a gentle ‘whoosh.’ Beats the hell out of traffic. As the stream draws nearer I hear a whistle that stands out in the crowd. So clever, to the untrained ear this is a Northern Shrike swiping right praying for a second in the limelight with a female fowl who might take a second to give him the time of day. I know better. How do I know better?
Despite this I venture on, expertly slapping brush out of my path *smack*. Glad no one saw that branch smack me in the face.
Despite this I venture on, timidly urging brush out of my path. This goes on for some time as I make my way toward the splashing of water over smooth rocks. As the feeling of uneasiness from that bird call earlier settles, I am met with a clearing no bigger than a ten man tent. Here I find the source of the whistle. A boy about age ten lies in the grass, his matted hair blending near perfectly into the greenery that lies below it. The boy looks as if he was kissed by the mother, half of our world half of another. He shares qualities with the highrises of Chernobyl, created by our hand and later left to nature’s devices. He wears clothes loosely woven from native plants, telling me he is not the only one
aka it’s my bedtime