Continental Divide: Mile 20

The blue swallows the eyesThe sky is different here. Vast and open with stars littering the darkness. There is nothing to dull their brilliance. Even with a new moon, you can see at night by starlight.

It is that clear.

I wish my mind would follow. It is choked with outside noise. I stare up, trying to find the North Star as a flood of thoughts flow behind my eyes. They are all silly things that aren’t worth worrying over now, things that can’t be changed, things that will be forgotten tomorrow.

I keep seeing the image of a Gottschalks department store through the Greyhound bus window. I saw it on my way down. There was a giant “Going out of Business” banner hanging over the entrance like a vulture’s perch.

Their bankruptcy was the last thing I worked on as a lawyer. I drafted a series of motions to allow them to conduct sales and hang “going out of business” banners. I worked at the law firm for two years and never saw anything I did in the real world until that night on the Greyhound bus. It had been nothing more than paperwork and signatures, but there it was, hanging over the store in a flood of electric lights. It was almost exciting. Almost.

I try to push the image out of my mind, that part of me is over now, but the thought floods anyway.

I stare at the North Star, but I don’t see it. It’s like I’m not even here.