Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Brian Barbeito

HighwaysHe pulled up to the place where they once sat together. That was the place on the outskirts of the suburbs, where the highway stretched south towards the major city and all that it entailed. To the north, the construction crews were still building things. Cookie cutter houses and neighborhoods, big box stores, and a sanitized world on top of the natural world would soon be the case. The rough hewn hillbillies would be pushed further into poverty or else edged right out. That population was one whose time had come. But for now, he just looked on upon the place where he had sat with the woman in the summer. Her hair had been honey golden and carried itself almost to the waist. She wore then blue jeans and a tight red cotton shirt. It had been summer. The cars came past in the distance and their lights seemed somehow to bob in the darkness light lights from boats might. Somewhere the moon, coy, kept receding- hiding from the world. Not this night, it said. Not this night. The woman was of medium height and beautiful beyond measure. People who saw her always talked about her afterwards- either in jealous tones or in awe struck delight.  Her eyes kept secrets that sometimes showed. She loved the boy on some level that she could not or would not let be known. But her eyes announced this as she stared intensely. It was a funny thing how the world moved so fast. Maybe it came out of source and God, and was source and God- yet, it had broken into so many parts that it was, against reason and being, sometimes not itself or what it should be. The world. The world with all its parts. It had brought so many things into fruition, into existence. The stars, the depths of the night, the gas stations and transport trucks. The smells of sulfur, oranges, cardboard boxes. It had brought forth the men from the north that lived on the edges of worlds- that would never become part of the cookie cutter world because they, uneducated, unrefined, did not fit into the plan of the world. It had brought forth the kindness they at times showed and the wisdom that they had fought and paid for in spades. It also brought forth their desperation, a desperation that at times was infused with violence. It had brought forth the blood on the walls that the man had seen, and needles, discarded, known as fits or rigs. How would the man ever convey what he had seen? It was impossible. And what he felt? More impossible still. And, as if to even out all things- in all the indifference and trouble, the source had brought forth the woman. Impossibly deep brown eyes. A knowing grin. A swing of the hips. A calmness. A fire. A calmness and a fire were both to be found within the woman. But the man and the woman were not to be, because the man obeyed some secret law of the whole, a law that might have been real or imagined. He went away from the woman. Those were the thoughts as he pulled up to the edge where they once sat together- the edge of the lot, the edge of the new cities of the north, and the edge of their own circumstance and life. That was the place on the outskirts of the suburbs, where the highway stretched to the south and to the north and it was up to each resident of the world which way would be traversed.


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