Sunday, September 10, 2017

THE DEATH WISH DRIVER by Mark Anthony Given

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.  You can only see as far as your headlights, 
but you can make the whole trip that way. -E. L. Doctorow

                    I HAD THIS guy pick me up hitch hiking one time down south who turned out to be The World's Worst Driver of All Time.  Late 90's pick up truck with a beat up Mississippi plates with four on the floor and a fifth under the seat...
                  THE FIRST COUPLE of times he did it I thought he just made a mistake, he was nervous, or he was just plain stupid and a bad driver.  Not this idiot.  Whenever, and every time we came to a STOP sign he would almost come to a complete stop like your supposed too, and then ease out into the middle of oncoming traffic, and suddenly stop dead center of the road.  Half turned, and half didn't. A fifth of Traveler's Remedy or banged up bottle of Southern Comfort rolled out from under the seat and got wedged under the brake right before I was fixing to throttle him to let me out.  Broad daylight middle of the afternoon, not a cloud in the sky and no rain in sight after nearly causing a four car pile up we battered down the road at probably thirty forty miles an hour because someone set the idle too high.  Swerving in and out of traffic on this busy back lane road heading for a major intersection.  Fuck me.  We were going too fast to hop out, and I knew it was a matter of time before gravity came calling and this was probably gonna hurt...   I found out later,
 THE DEATH WISH DRIVER didn't drink;  The fifth under the seat was for his passengers....

To be continued...
10:32 AM 6/24/2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Bad Dreamer by Mark Anthony Given


 The dreams of good men are better than those of ordinary people. -Aristotle

           EVERY SINCE I quit smoking pot I been having bad dreams.  Growing up I would never watch horror movies because I didn't want them images in my head.  Always turn my head when bad things appear on screen or passing car accidents.  And, if something did happen I or I would see something I would immediately block it out of my mind.  That's why what I'm fixing to tell you might have really happened and it's not really a dream; it might have really happened...
           I THINK I was in California because of how bright the light was, the lighting in California is much different for some reason, which is why so many movies are made there.  Or even Montana where you immediately notice how nice your photographs come out because of how clean the air is.  Anyway, it could have been anywhere because I have hitch hiked from one end of this country to the other many times.  It was probably early on because it was in an urban environment on a kind of busy street four way street  mid day, traffic was blowing by probably forty miles an hour and I was watching people closely as they passed me actually making eye contact with them as they passed me with my arm out with my thumb out facing on coming traffic.  Close enough that if someone stuck their hand out a car window they could have high fived me.  I was always terrified of getting hit by a car or getting picked up by a serial killer and watching out for the cops all at the same time.   

          A single dream is more powerful than a single reality. -J.R. Tolkien

THE DEAD GIRL in my dreams won't die.  She was probably twenty with long straight blond hair and striking blue eyes staring right at me.  A classic  Corvair van that was highly polished and gleaming like a show car on its way to a weekend rally with an excited middle aged man had made eye contact with me and tapped his brakes as he came up on me like he was going to stop and with a big smile on his face and a crazed look like he was stoned out of his mind slammed on the brakes coming to a complete stop.  The pretty young girl who wasn't wearing a helmet driving a Honda small engine motorcycle or even a Vespa never even had time to stop slamming into the back of the shiny show car exactly parallel to where I was standing and was looking right into my eyes.  And she stuck there for some reason and time stood still as I stared at her like looking into my eternity and my first thought was that she's all gone and I'm still here and it was all my fault.  
                     IN THE MIDDLE of the night, here in the quiet of Montana thirty years later she returns, her expressionless face stares at me in what I hope is only my bad dream...