“A kiss would do it.
One sprinkle of milkwhite salt
and I’ll break like bread at your table.”
– S. Sloat
Uncertain about my weekend away, I find everything I wanted to write about draining away, replaced by the landscape outside the train windows. There is a large, strange boat abandoned on part of the shore, a hulking, rotten thing, the discarded corpse of a predator. Every time I see it, I want to visit. Climb upon its ribs, explore the depths of its throat. The house near it, that of a witch. Driftwood, black paint, sorrow. Somewhere a hand-painted sign, STAY AWAY. The water is smooth today, enough to reflect the sky, a strange illusion of clouds and occasional threads of blue. Soon it is replaced by green farm fields dotted with tiny isolated homesteads, the tracks swinging in-land. A bridge, blue herons, the shock of a log yard with violent wood-chippers, the elegant, golden spray of chewed material gouting from the top of a long metal tube, propelled by a quick, vicious conveyor belt and the hunger of consumerism. Touch it and you’d lose your hand. (It scares a child sitting behind me). Next, a dense, sputtering flock of birds swarming like massive bees, a horror of movement next to a small white farmhouse, paint peeling in antique strips as potentially old as the magenta hot-rod rusting out beside it, fins pointed to the sky like a prayer.
The closer I travel to Canada, the more everything is gray. The more the trees I like, honest, naked, are replaced with depressing evergreens. To another set of eyes, the view might be spectacular – inspiring, pristine nature of the sort usually found only in magazines – but if it wasn’t for my lover in Vancouver, I would be certain that I’m traveling the wrong direction, towards failure. My home behind me, as if I am running away.