It’s a clear day. The sky is blue. The grass is green. And we are driving down the highway. The journey is marked by spastic bursts of conversation and a chunkily categorized landscape. I press my nose to the glass and point. There go the suburbs, the farmlands, the mountains. We are squished between moments, reckoning with a folded horizon.
A highway is a strip of land, paved over, with bold yellow stripes running down its center. It’s a dead snake. It’s everything it has crushed, everything it has pushed to its periphery. And it’s nothing, a vacuum with the sole purpose of transporting our consciousness from one location to another. A highway is a portal forced to exist in conventional space. It’s a portal stretched thin.
My cousin says she finds the dirty dive bars and mangy strip malls, the nameless, thousand-mile purgatory outside the parapet, enticing. She says that everything looks more cohesive when viewed from another dimension. But I am repelled. This vantage point, this collage-like impression of time, of space, is pieced together from glances out the window. And in the rare moments of clarity, moments when the clock strikes twelve, the world is revealed with merciless explicitness. It’s unnatural to see things for what they are: flimsy, made from flimsy angles.
Surrealism makes me profoundly uncomfortable. The components of a scene, of an emotion, are exposed. But it’s like experiencing space without time's wave-like lull. There is nothing holding the components together, just sporadic glances out the window.