See, she felt this tug. This cosmic pull and ebb. It grew, from something sinewy in a sinus is where it began. Then it was a pin unremoved from procedure.
It rendered her almost helpless. A package under her arm and what was she here for again?
That tug, it rendered her almost weightless in that way that you disappear in a room that no one’s watching. Locked or empty, a room that no one cleans.
A pressure, almost. A fissure . She walked this street at a brisk, reasonable pace. No one would notice that chasm. But oh! It was there.
Aggressive and unashamed in its intensity. A pull, a tug. It moved to her heart.
And walking was hard now, without a purpose, it seemed. That tug. And she stumbled quite a lot. She longed to keep her limbs in line. And everyone held a string, like a marionette, or a set-piece. Always all above her and they yelled and they all knew the best routes for everything, and they all had an opinion about that package.
And Hollywood kept on its old lights, missing bulbs, all through the nights now.
20 needles stuck in the places she never thought she had.
That pull, that tug, glued itself in lapels and labels. It dug its heels into ravines of bliss and rancor. It watched from closed closets as her form shifted and shaped, adapted to door-frames, letting strangers in to rest, while her heels clicked on.
But where her rest? Tiny pins still prodded and poked. Where this pin? In perfect embroidery or distant cloth?
She walked by glossy cars; they tried so hard. They tried so hard to show you what they’d seen. And a thousand adventures and talks and tasks and accidents were all at once just one bright, artificial line that crested over windows and glass.
There would never be time for all these willing stories. No times these cars would be a character in a story. No time for those who made these stories.
There would never be enough time to make it to the post office and it was dark anyways and there would never be time for all the details and descriptions and sensations and minutiae.
Shores were never bounds, but invitations. There had to be time for people that felt that though, right?
And she hit the pavement harder and the cars had no lives again, and all the ancient dirt lay miles deep beneath her feet and to see the shore would cost you $20.
But up ahead there was a time where the days wouldn’t end suddenly and that home on her lips was an actuality. And all the attention poured like syrup over everything was more like concrete than love; it could build and it shaped and it lasted.
She walked. It was timeless and lonely. The store windows had no neon, the streets didn’t know how to hold rain. Forever she walked.
Everyone else’s nights rose in an angry clatter to dissipate into ill-fitting dreams; discordant desires that no one noticed had died months ago.
She walked. She had to. Inside she was a hundred tiny fluttering things, battering themselves against her ribs and chest.
A thousand memories, all alive, as the gum-speckled sidewalk fell beneath her.
Something tugged inside: an orchestra had played for her once and it pressed against her throat from within. But this lonely night, she walked alone.
Something waited for her, resplendent and gold, no timber and ash, perhaps nothing out of place.
The Los Angeles skyline tried to glow. It tried to light itself and breathe something of cohesiveness and purpose, somewhere hard above her head. But she?
She kept walking.
Everything she’d been promised dissolved into that hazy ether and the sprawling city around her.
And suddenly she was near the moon.
Near a place where the crowds were gentle, and you could be alone, and the glow came from all around and these little storefronts didn’t mean much after dark. And there suddenly was the moon and peace. After walking and thoughts and strange pains and worry. Suddenly there was the moon.
The package she carried, she remembered. It didn’t mean much now. All crisp paper and some one else’s purpose.
There was some joy in the fact that none of the delivery mattered, but all the tiny, sparkling pieces of trash underfoot did.
How she longed to throw the package into a long-standing gutter and feel somehow, tinily, heroic.
A bomb. It could be a bomb or a terrible manuscript or a stack of ill-timed letters.
She didn’t need those.
Creation sprung from beneath her. Into that cloaked evening where everyone around became sheets of vibrating paper. Shaking sheets of construction paper on which their light yellow marker dreams were written.
She wouldn’t deliver that package. She ran a few steps and then dropped the package afterwards, into some side street gutter, all awkwardly and obvious.
The crowd pressed around her and still she moved. Lighter.
What good is there to staying when you’ve already decided to move on?
The package would never make it to delivery. The people would press on, whirling dervishes and thick, heavy hopes spinning and pressing against one another into weak, thin nights forever.
They’d disappear into carriages and Priuses and clouds of smoke, unmade beds and bedtimes and hangovers and chords they couldn’t play or notice.
The stores around her would open and close without them seeing what they looked like from without, and their window decals and details would be forgotten or destroyed or painted over.
Mondays would come and go, but she would run because she didn’t need those people or that package.
And its recipient would never notice.
Above, jurassic leaves and supreme purpose. Something larger. Something lost.
She ran to the moon.