Concerned, overloaded individual; with burlap eyes and a stiff leather jacket, Psalm-ber pangs and a distant spouse; your car seats smell of the grey, plastic gas station vacuum that cleans them off each night; rich blends and whipped creams are festooned along the highway, their chipped stems planted in the empty farmland; orange juice burns your chapped lips and the pulp will linger with the dips in your gums; daylight is synonymous with sickness and the office lights are so bright; when you return home, you can’t help but notice your child crackles like the face of a television.

Concerned, overloaded individual –,

Salida is an exit, so don’t be afraid to take it. It owns its disregard in the silence of an airplane, pointing to sealed doors, tethered to Exit. You wonder about their relationship, but only briefly: Who would I be if I preferred the other over the only Exit I’ve ever known? Would my eyebrows furrow the same? Would they furrow at all? How tall would I be? Would I still worry about how much I sleep? On the ground, tomorrow’s traffic is today’s traffic. Today’s was yesterday’s and yesterday knows of tomorrow. Powdered Flavoring. You wrestle with your steering wheel, but only until you can kick at the gas pedal. And the day moves on accordingly.

The smell of salmon reminds you of the way salmon smell. Uphill rivers and bears swiping at the water is scenery for the television to imagine. The mind moves in folds and this is not an origami rose. Steps are numbers and indentured distances from. Brilliant Blue. The hike up … the climb-in, the man lifting himself in to the cab of an eighteen-wheeler as you watch him from the rest stop, from the parking lot of the rest stop, all diagonal lines and designated alignment, smooth flat and what is a hill except what’s in the distance. What’s on the inside except what is not on the outside? Nothing is beyond the outside except what the inside believes is being hidden from it. Aspartame, Ace-K and Saccharin.

Your son wonders why the car smells the way it does: why does it daddy, why what? oh and so on – chuckle lightly in the respite until he shares that if teal, those brilliant animated seas or the iris of his favorite cartoon character, had a smell that that that this car, teal would smell like this car. One day he’ll look upon the default wallpaper of an antique computer with the same revelry, or the bandanas draped from the pockets of boys on Castro Street. Sucrose Fructose Glucose. Well put, ma boy, one day soon your flighty observances and enthusiastic tongue will numb, one day they’ll hold themselves tighter, sour and conscientious, manners will supersede mania and if you feel overwhelmed, well, then institutionalized dissuasion will know in a hurry.

Concerned, overloaded individual –,

You wake prematurely for work a few times a week. Internal clock, have to take a piss. French doors for a cigarette, and sometimes a train or two running along the horizon beyond the tufts of smoke and breath lingering in the ripe morning light. Potassium Bromate. The sun rises and cars start moving. A photographer is exiting the old department store down the street, walking back inside, fiddling with the lighting and placement of his enlargements in the window. His weeklong showcase begins tonight – oh and so on … the inside’s concern for arrangement, the outside’s concern for view. Why does it daddy? Ice seals the driver-side door shut, ease over the gearshift from the passenger seat. The windshield wipers are frozen idle, but you’ll let the afternoon tend to that. You forgot your breath follows you inside your car. And the day moves on accordingly.

Sodium Nitrate. The hike up … the climb-in. Flirting with exertion, back among the crumbs. The rest stop parking lot and its scenery of small chores. Light-footed children in a circle of stalls and sinks, sopping and bright, stench circumambient and unrelenting like air conditioning. Mothers, fathers listless; trash tires and glare; stone tables for a garden somewhere, held in purgatory for fleeting use, dulcet anchors for the pale green grass and pavement, the choir of hungry dogs in hot cars.

Your son questions the movement of a coral snake easing between the low trees in the backyard: why can’t it ride straight? where’s its tail? what’s the end? where’s it go? oh and so on – chuckle lightly in the respite until he shares that if your car, smells like teal smells like your car, that if your car lost its front tire, its left-front tire, that that that it would move like a coral snake, swerve between other cars like the snake in the backyard. BHA. BHT. One day he’ll absentmindedly knick a curb or dip into an unavoidable pothole, run a flat on a sleeted street, carry a trail of flung ice and the smell of singed rubber, find a telephone pole looming in the headlit nearness. Well put, ma boy, one day soon your mercurial itinerary and Crayola liturgies will smooth, one day they’ll settle, compass and orbit, discouragement will circumvent creativity and if you feel unstimulated, well, then – oh and so on…

Dear concerned, overloaded individual –,

The boys and the girls are muttering in their intermingling clusters. Their school’s pavement docks aside the parking lot. You wait for the crowds to clear, for your son to let himself through. He could very well know where you are, where your car is sitting in the scurrying color-wheel, the small greens and large whites, the insistent reorienting on the permanent black expanse. He could very well know, but, as he emerges, there seems no haste to his destination. His direction is slight; those around him move with the same gradual preserve, hurried in only remaining unhurried, meticulous to those who pass with a hello, married to the scene’s capsized culmination. He may pass a remark on what he learned, file through his backpack and throw a stack of graded papers in your lap. Will the car still smell like teal? Who knows when we grow out of our unique senses. That vivid commotion will resolve and he will unfasten from the hypodermic; lines and processions are external and what is a chain except a succession of links – unbroken, cold, and secure. What is it daddy? And for once you can’t chuckle and explain.