Turning onto the highway, heading to work. Thick fog is all that I can see.
Everything is a misty blue-grey color. There is no sky, no surroundings... just a patch of road that stretches about 100 feet forward then disappears into the same nothingness. I set the cruise control at 70, turn the stereo on.
The Doors, the intro to Apocalypse Now, off the soundtrack, complete with the heavy bass of helicopter props thumping slowly into hearing range, then so loud the car, and me, is thrumming with their sound. Drifting down the road, fog parting slightly for my passage through the ethereal wasteland.
No sunrise for me this morning... Every morning I make the thirty minute drive to work. When I was younger, I'd have been pissed off just having to do it. Now, it's a blessing. I have half an hour to wake up, mentally log on to life, and adjust my attitude for the day. And heading east from my home, that is thirty minutes that I get to dwell on the sunrise each morning.
Not today. The Sun is gone, all light is filtered through the beads of mist, bathing my surroundings in illumination which is not illumination. Objects appear out of the fog, pass by, and are swallowed up again, as I am swallowed up again, to them.
Drifting, the wet road feels different to my feet on the pedals. There is less vibration and I can feel the slickness, the lack of connection between the earth and my car. Everything feels disconnected, lighter than air, less real.
Finally the song is over, and The End shifts into War Pigs by Black Sabbath- it's such a perfect segueway that I think for a moment that I must have purposely put these two songs together on this CD, but I know I did not. When I make a music CD, I just throw together a jumble of songs that fit my mood for that moment, and the CD burner organizes them according to the filenames, so as I drag and drop them to a list, they go into their own order. The Chaos IS the craft. Because when I start listening to the songs, I never know what is next. But the eerie despondence of the Doors gives way to the eerie anger of Black Sabbath and it fits perfectly into this moment.
Reality is not only the concrete. And winding my way through the heavy clouds on the ground, I understand this. It's an abstract illusion that provides clarity as you go into the clouds. And when they slowly wisp away and are gone, and the colors and harsh light once again exposes the world around us, I feel loss and not gain.
As I shake my head, as if waking from some dream- I don't feel as if I am more aware- but less. I pull into the parking lot, and step out on pavement that is now dry, with no evidence that the fog was ever there- and I wonder what else I am missing from this reality.