A small slice of shuddering soft gray road surface. Lost, after years of simple service. Endless leaves lay fallen and forgotten, forever facing tireless tire tracks. It was a short stretch to traverse, no consequence, they say. Too much dust. Some maintenance required. Not Plug n’ Play. I walked this wavering artery, a passage with passion piqued, a daily ritual of devotion. To the post office, the bus stop, endless photographs with the passing of the equinox, the bones of leaves ground into anthropologic specimen, the setting for micro-forensic fiction and fascination. The stroll reinvigorated with every traipse and tread. It brought to mind an open map, where the seeker of such solitude could codify, compose and collect derelict dirt roads. The Dirt Road Database was born on this beaten path.
Taking a turn too eager, I once crashed maleficiently on the track, torching elbow and ego, claret mixing with the gray dirt. I became part of the landscape, face pressed close to the soft humming soil, plaid wool to gray mud. The lane was a spring board for adventures. A harbor to launch an emprise. The home stretch at the end of amaranthine miles.
Two years have passed since I have relinquished proximity to the path. We parted and the lane let its guard down. It forgot it’s importance to my life, and our shared protoplasmic dharma. I remember waking, full of terror and trepidation, hearing the scrape of a grader on the soft yielding surface of the path. My mind ached, yammered and yowled: was my lane being paved? No, it was merely a grooming, an exfoliation of the soil, a soothing of the scabrous stones and a filling of the pockmark’d potholes. I would rush to the scene, clad in barely more than shoes, to sabotage the murderous act. In the end though, I missed the snuff scene. We rolled by on our way to a semi-annual ramble, and the lane had died an inglorious death. Fresh asphalt, thick and black and full of sin, coated my cruor and the finished the soft gray lane that once was.