Friday, July 28, 2006

w h i t e o u t

The first flakes you brush off. The white line down the center of old Seneca Turnpike. A stray fleck caught in your headlights. You try the high beams. Worse. You flip on the wipers but it is too dry and you get a fartlike scape in reply. A swirl of white eddies by and dervishes off to the side by the snow-brushed tattered cornstalks of Amidon's farm that now seem so old and ancient. Silent witnesses to this quick passing of a 1966 Olds Toronado at 3:30 a.m. The bars are closed. At least The Library is. You overdid it. Again. You promised. You at least promised yourself. Once again. What a phony drama it was. You knew she'd be there. It was a cliche'd scene from a dull movie on a Sunday afternoon, one you started to watch but lost track of, drifting in and out of a nap. The sterile crescent you saw lighting the fields just a few moments ago is already half-covered by a dark cloud swiftly moving. You can feel the temperature drop and turn on the defrost blower. A shadow against the tree line. The burst of lake-effect is startling, almost as dramatic as the time it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. You turn the wipers to the max. FWACK / KUMP. FWACK / KULMP. FRARCK / UMP. High beams. The fury of flakes is merely magnetized like a billion albino fireflies of August. You told yourself you should have left hours ago. You can feel the ever slight slip of traction. You lower the beams again and the onslaught is more pointillist, more granular. A snowswept gust pushes the car forward ahead of its own speed. You roll down a window. Snow rushes in and quickly sticks to your beard. You close the window. It never occurs to you to slow down or ease to the right, edging for the gravelly berm. Your only faith is in this very blindness. And you just can't help comparing this blaring night to a July noon that makes you squint so hard you see an electric blue. And the papery thirst that comes with it.

5 comments:

jbwritergirl said...

My oh my! A step back in time when life was simple and the only thing you had to worry about was an underaged DUI. Oh those crazy teen years.

I remember those days growing up in Ontario, Canada as opposed to Ontario California. The snow, the berms the butt ass freezing temps although I never got experience the snow in my beard, lol.

I used to drive a Boss 302 Mustang just so I could shake the boys up a little while they rubbed my dust from their eye before they ever turned the key in the ignition.

Ah youth! Where the helldid all those years go?

Thanks for the trip down memory land PK.

Jacqui

Michael C said...

I've only been in snow after it has snowed, never been around to see it fall. The mountains are just minutes from us but I've yet to experience snow fall.

When my vetigo strikes, I do experience a little white out of my own. And I don't mean the kind that Mike Nesmith's grandmother invented.

What a great post to be able to read. Thanks!

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Thanks, both of you. Writing's a discovery process, isn't it? (E.M. Forster said something like, "I write to discover what I want to say.") I didn't start out thinking anything more than "whiteout," as opposed to "blackout" (partly inspired by Dafaths's comment). The piece drifted to a real recollection. As for being funny every day, kind of difficult, so I salute such auteurs. And I too always thought it was Mike Naismith's mother (grandmother?) who invented the Witeout stuff, and that she made more than the Monkees did by doing so. Parade magazine wrote a piece on it. But last night, at Bic's www.witeout.com site, I found they say it was two guys. Now I don't know what or whom to believe. Per usual.

Michael C said...

Well, for me, it's kind of funny to think that technically a monkee's grandmother invented white out. I guess it beats a monkey's uncle. Just trying to be funny on daily basis is difficult. I salute you for having the talent at writing something 'serious.'

MyHeartHurts said...

Simply eloquent... I didn't want it to end. ~M