En Route is made out of movement; it is a losing game we play with time. On the way there are the stories.
A photograph is a short story without words. Instead there is experience, memory and imagination. There are stories of palm trees in the rain, crosses swinging from the rear view mirror. A Christ figure looms near a road in Santa Fe, his hand pointing the way, to what I have never quite figured out.
Torn white fabric hangs from a barbed wire fence south of Lone Pine, California. Was it from a wedding dress? The wind blows it around like streams of white memory. An egret dives towards its death or a fish, its shadow close behind looking for answers. The truth? There are no answers.
Time runs out in an intersection while nearby, streams of blood, or something, fill the frame. A headless shadow moves against a wall, running late for an appointment with the afterlife while the night train to Tucson pulls away, half full of one-way dreams.
Don’t pack much for your trip, especially memories. The road eats memories for breakfast. You thought she loved you, now you sleep alone in a cheap motel somewhere north of San Diego.
Pages are missing. A bloody massacre in Torino or just an old woman’s laundry hung out to dry beneath the burning Italian sun while across the sea strange light falls on an empty table in a cantina near Taos.
Stories. Big stories and little stories, true stories and false, they all huddle together by the side of the road. We glance at them without emotion as we speed by. No time to stop or for tears.
In the end we are all En Route and we find our stories as we go. We pick and chose them, a kind of natural selection although there is nothing natural about it. The days and years slip by; there is nothing but the sound of wind and tires, a country radio station. The road and the miles stretch out for what seems like forever until, one day, they don’t.