Life underneath the headline was stranger than you can imagine. Scientists had just discovered that teaching rats to drive tiny electric cars helped the rats relax. So we found a car, tossed some clothes in the back. I drove because she couldn’t drive a stick. She either slept or stared at her phone screen with assassin’s eyes. I didn’t know how to stop. I didn’t know how to leave. My skin became stitched to hers. What state is south of Nebraska? We were going where the GPS said, the light disappearing ahead of us, the darkness rushing at us from behind.
A Moral Reckoning
Every moment is being watched, though there’s no one there, only the dark-eyed moon spooning out grains of nothingness from an old jelly jar, until whatever this is, whether a beginning or a tentative ending, whether utterly real or just imagined, passes over us like a shadow, a lone black cormorant roller-coasting over choppy waters, something for you to Google and find out about when you can’t sleep and want to follow your own tracks back through the muddle, tracks nearly obliterated by the crisscrossing tire prints of seedy circus bears that fled on their wobbly little bicycles.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Crime pays, but not a whole lot, about 85 cents a day, whether you’re picking tobacco and cotton on a prison farm in Louisiana or pressing license plates in a prison factory in Utah. Meanwhile, dark laughter is dripping, creaking, flowing. Which of the children riding on the school bus will grow up to be shackled to chairs and shrieking in pain, and which committing the torture? Televised lectures on ethics just can’t find an audience. Instead, hundreds of thousands of us are listening for our names. I think sleep is going to turn out to be one of them.
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