A child’s touch which brings to mind the dim wonderment of those early screens, but also a cactus whose thin needles guide you toward a thoughtful caress, releasing their private melody. It’s hot out. Too hot to brighten my phone any further. Too bright to have forgotten those knockoffs in my car. The hazy sight of your touch flits between a mirage and augmented reality. The unconscious squeeze of an empty Gatorade bottle serves to stimulate memory but also to aggravate my thirst. A padlock on the nearby pump does not move in the wind that does not blow. Twelve minutes down the road by car is where they have water and Mountain Dew in vending machines.
While driving I fail to remember how track five skips in the middle and that seven is an order of magnitude louder than six. I picture a thousand CDs scattered across the rocks of a petrified forest, or rather the trace of something 250 million years away. Will they crack the way a microwave can? My exit is Rainbow-something, which I miss. I drive in the wrong way but there is only one other car, windows tinted, Alaska plates. Vending machine is cheaper than I would’ve thought. Two bottles of water and a Mountain Dew. On a whim I open all three bottles and prepare to examine my sense of taste. Bottle one, bottle two, bottle one, bottle three, bottle two. Must’ve lost one of the caps. My car is still running, the A/C works well enough, and I wave bye to the man from Alaska even though I cannot see his face.
With my arm over the back of the passenger seat and my head turned to reverse out of the parking lot, I take a picture of myself looking away from the rear-view mirror and send it to you.