How about a little fiction?
The following is an excerpt from my unfinished (and unfinishable) novel, Hard Road to Barstow. No copyrights. Don’t make me laugh. Use it if the spirit moves you. I think I’ll put some more of it here later.
Hard Road to Barstow
I stepped into the pit.
With eyes wide open I walked into the hole—knowing it was there. Yep. Sure did. Exactly why I did it, I’m still trying to figure out. It was partly out of love and partly due to pain but there’s a whole bunch of other stuff mixed in that still isn’t clear. Maybe by the time I get to the end of this I’ll have a better understanding, but for now let’s just say that I did it knowing that it was waiting for me. Why? I’ll let you know if I find out.
Oh, the Pit and I are very familiar with one another. I’ve been there twice before. Both times I made it out alive—how, I haven’t a clue. Since the last time I have lived on the verge of the abyss. Yeah, I knew it was there. There were times (precious few) when I turned my back on the hole and walked to safer ground. Other times (damned many) I held bacchanalias on the crumbling edges. This time it was near the apex of one of these orgiastic frenzies that something in me decided that close was not enough and without wavering or hesitating I fed myself into its maw.
I even had a foretaste or maybe it was a ricochet off one of the higher terraces. But that little appetizer of Hell occurred in Virginia Beach and is not part of this tale. The causes and precursors for that excursion are perhaps the meat for some other meal.
Gravity’s a bitch. Release a dinner plate into thin air and it will travel in one direction only. My fall started when I stepped onto a Greyhound bus in Hampton, Virginia. As a thing falls it will gather speed. The rising velocity didn’t become painfully apparent until I had been in Savannah, Georgia for one week.
That I was able to record any of it is a testimony to something. Whether it was talent, providence, or sheer dumb luck, I am unsure. At the beginning, I would have said talent. After Colorado, all bets (including those on my staying alive) would have been on dumb luck. Today I lean toward Providence. But I jotted, noted, scribbled, and tape-recorded all along the way. It wasn’t until Barstow that I began to lash it all together.
For two months I lived in Colorado. Uncle Vernon didn’t like that one bit. During that time I had a roof over my head, a bed to sleep on, a well-stocked refrigerator, and a computer on which to write. I didn’t emerge from the pit during that period. I merely partied on one of the middle ledges. Not all parties are fun. Sometimes you are the Court Jester and the joke is on you. When you look into the pit, you just might be surprised by who you see looking back.