the destroyer > text > Brian Oliu


At night, the city in the distance never gets any closer, despite bodies going as fast as the bits would allow—–the number synonymous with the south pointing chariot, the wheels turning without magnets. The measurements of solar time are perfect provided there are not any curves in the road, and there aren't for some time; a straight line from where we once were to where we are going as the lines in the road glow green like the lights in the windows of the buildings of the city I will never get to. The land where I am from is synonymous with transport economics; you will know me by where you slow down—–the roads get more intricate in their curves and stops: they are known by numbers, they are known by the names of dead farmers and soldiers, the names of the crops that died so that you can admire what is left of the barley as you wonder why the roads are lined with trees. The road bends around us–—we see a hill but we do not move up it, like a ghost is pushing our weight while we remain still. This wheel dictates where I will appear. The lights turn when I turn. There are no lights here—–only the negatives of things—–all colors reversed. The colors can change and divide to provide more depth, to see the cars coming at us faster and with more ridges to their bodies, to make the flips and crashes more real. If you stare at a color long enough your eyes will get fatigued and your brain will forget that color exists. On Saturday mornings I would lay in my bed my father had built. This bed is a boat. This bed is not a car. I would convince myself that by the time I could sit in the front seat without feeling sick to my stomach we would catch up to time; that I could press a button that would take me to my grandmother's house where I could stay the night and she would make me eggs in the morning. The car, which is not a car, is green and seats only me; my parents are dead now, but I must keep the house in order. I must steer the tractor; I must learn how to put the blades down so that the grass doesn't get too long. We might have a dog now and he needs to eat. In my car that is not a car I fall asleep. The wheels move with the road—–it can read all of the signs; it knows all of the turns. When the car is upside down like a dead bird, there is no one in the car. There is no broken glass, no dent in the door where I would try to get out. The car will right itself and slide back onto the road like tires on ice into the grill of a truck on my way to school. It is January and you thought about speed and lampposts. When I wake up it is raining and the time is up and there is no movement. In the dream where I wake up I am in my father's car and no one is driving. My parents are at the front steps and they are waving goodbye as I try to open the door to get out. There is a dead quail on the side of the road. The car that no one is driving will never stop driving. There is my house again. There are my parents again. There is a dead quail on the side of the road. There is my house again. There are my parents screaming. There is a dead quail on the side of the road. There is my house, off-yellow with blue shutters and a blue door which is open. My mother is reading a book. My father is mowing the lawn. We know that things are moving when they are not moving—–we will disappear like lilacs when it is our turn.

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