Wednesday, February 22, 2012


HWY 5. CA. 2009

Life's not short, if you live it. - m

Plans are worth making and also worth breaking. Answers serve no purpose without the right questions. Indecisiveness will not get you anywhere, even if you have a compass handy. And there's a pretty good chance you already have the answers right in front you. Are you a person with a plan or are you waiting for someone else to tell you the answer? 


A Man with a Plan. 

Here I sit; alongside the road on a suitcase full of money in the dark of the night out this undetermined way. Hitchhiking my way to this abandoned place I’d never been, seen or heard of, somewhere in the middle of the state. Waiting to see a man. There’s been no one along this road for over an hour now, where I’m waiting for this man. This is where I should be; exactly where I was told to be. See I’ve got some unfulfilled thoughts in my head. I’ve spent the last two years without a home to call my own, wandering this earth in a never-ending search to find my way back. So here I am looking for answers. Answers from a man - a Man with a Plan they call him. Some say he’s a mystic and can see the future. Others say he knows every answer to every question that ever is, was or ever will be. I don’t know about all that hocus pocus, but I’d pay any price for some answers to these questions that disturb my mind and condemn my soul to burn in continued torment. 

Lights, far in the distance approach. Too remote to distinguish the image behind the irregular dots that slowly close in on my position. The answers that I seek are coming to me for a change. 100k in unmarked bills was the price I was given. This exact amount guaranteed me three questions. I was told “The Man will have the answers and know you before you even lay eyes on him.” Desperate men cling to any shimmer of hope when the cards are down. Don’t ask me what I did to get that money. I’m not proud. But I need to know NOW! I’ve reached the end of my rope and losing grip on reality. 

In the darkness, the pitch black night is still except for the lights of the car that swiftly approaches. There’s no moon tonight. The sky is a beautiful canvas blanketed with stars. More twinkling diamonds than the mind can attempt to count. The black Model T pulls up and scatters the dust around. In the car is a man. Not an older man by any accounts. Not a young man either. The look in his eyes speaks volumes. He’s seen things that will haunt you to the grave. Eyes are the gateway to a man’s soul. This Man knew things and his eyes couldn’t hide it. “Eli,” He knows my name. “Get in the car. Let’s GO!” I grab my suitcase and walk around the car. Throw my suitcase in the back and before I’ve got both feet in front of me and the door closed, he’s speeding off into the night once again. 

25 minutes have rolled by. No sign of any living thing along this road. Its pitch black and the only illumination is from the small headlights shining out on the road before us. It casts an unusual pallor on the Man’s skin. He almost seems to be translucent. Quiet. He hasn’t said a word since he picked me up. I’m certain he’ll spark up any moment cause I’m shrunk up against the passenger door and staring wildly. He looks over at me with a wide grin and it’s unclear to me who is truly mad, me or him. Just as his attention returns back to the road the Man lets out a roar of laughter. The car keeps rolling. 

Another 15 minutes roll on and he perks up again. “I suppose you have questions for me?” says the Man. I nod my head. “There’s really no need to ask them. I have the answers for you. They’ve been with us all night, somewhere alongside that road, in the dark, under that pitch black night sky filled with the twinkling stars.” I cough and take a deep breath. The Man points out the window. “See that hill out there,” I can only make out an outline of what he’s showing me, as it’s far too dark to see into the distance clearly. “That’s where I’m going, and you can come with me, if you’d like. But I can’t answer those questions for you. I can promise you will find peace of mind if you come with me. The answers on the other hand can only provide you with knowledge. You must make your own peace with what you learn from them. I can’t guide you any further than that. Do not worry. You have time to decide.” The car moves forward at a quicker pace. 

About a half an hour later, we come to a fork in the road. He slams on the brakes bringing us to a dead stop. I lurch forward in my seat and fall back quickly. Before the dust of the road clears he’s out of the car pacing, almost running, back and forth between the two roads. There are no signs of any kind on the road. He seems panicked and bewildered. After a few more minutes, he jumps back in the car, slams the door and we choose the left flank. “Sorry about that I didn’t see this coming at all.” He pulls out a handkerchief and wipes the sweat off his brow. It’s a woman’s, embroidered with initials that I’m unable to see clearly. So, how are you doing Eli? Feeling any better about those questions, yet?” He grins and keeps driving. 

“Alright now Eli,” says the Man as he slows the car, “I know you’ve got a million questions in that brain of yours right now, as I’ve got all these answers swimming around in mine. You know the rules, Eli. Three, I can only answer three. I can’t tell you what happens if you don’t come with me. I can not answer that one.” He pauses and then looks me directly in the eye. “Do not ask me about death or love. There is no certainty in either. I am warning you before you waste your time asking such things.” Just as soon as he’s spoken his peace, his eyes leave mine and return back to the road. Strange fellow. But I like his company nonetheless. 

“You’re READY then?” He spins his head around so fast I almost jump in my seat. Quite startling. The car stops. I take a deep breath and nod. 

“Seeing how I just came here looking for some answers, I think that’s what you should give me. Your offer to find peace is generous. Don’t get me wrong. You’re good people, I can tell. I don’t have anything to hold me here so it sounds pretty fair. And for the most part you’ve been good company so far.” He’s sitting quiet in front of me listening without interrupting. I stop. He pauses and starts to drive again. 

“You aren’t sure. The answers tell me that. I can’t choose for you Eli. You can’t ask that either.” He says in a somber and quiet voice. “But have it your way then.” We sit in silence another half an hour as the car crawls up this twisted and winding road far too small for even one car to through pass safely. 

The car rolls to a stop. Before he gets out something escape from his mouth. “The initials are M.M. And don’t worry I won’t hold it against you. That one was on me. I always did like a curious man with a sense of humor.” He picks up a large rock effortlessly and throws it in the back. Gets back in and drives. 

“Since you’ve decided and I’m almost where I need to be, let’s get on with this then.” The Man takes a deep breath and looks at me. I swear there’s a tear in his eye. “The 1st - It’s always been there in front of you. Be patient and wait, its coming. The 2nd - 27 minutes left. The Reaper’s moving in fast tonight.” He sighs and stops. “Eli. I’m not answering that one. You already know the answer. You don’t need me to re-affirm it. Eli, it is within all of us to know that truth. Do not doubt your instincts.” He closes his eyes and takes a breath. “The 3rd - No, I’m not who you think. And yes, I will return for you tonight.” He stops talking and motions me out. As he closes the door on me, “Lastly, another one on me - She did love you. But you can not stop her death.” His lights disappear into the dark just as suddenly as they emerged from it. The suitcase is next to me and there’s a large rock for me to sit on. Wait. 

For miles... HWY 33. CA. 2012.

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