matt pond PA

March 14, 2018

Slabs From Above.

My driveway is two parallel concrete slabs. Since I sold my chevy, the slabs are empty. They run naked along the side of the house, an equal sign for passing airplanes and aliens.

I wonder why I attribute feelings to stone and structure. The face on my humidifier, the soothing mind of a white noise machine, the acute loneliness of an unridden bicycle. When I type with too much force, I lean in close to the letters and whisper, “I’m sorry, babies.”

I’ve asked all my free-wheeling friends to fill the hollow space as much as possible. But our neverending winter and the gangs of roaming snow plows have built a wall of ice between the slabs and the street. Strangers see a slick opportunity to park in front of my unguarded spot while I snooze in a rocking chair robe, a dozing baseball bat athwart my lap.

My driveway is a principle, a way of life. Not of a lost van, but of quiescent friendship, budding, unrealized new love, revving hot over the ancient flying saucer signals — I still have moves. Someday, I swear I’ll be flying off the concrete in a cherry-red Camaro. Or maybe just a lousy Audi with a broken odometer and an endearingly bad paint job. Waxing and waning in the summer sun, the spigot clearing the suds away, the space must remain open!

In order to rely less on my imagination to account for my surroundings, I measured the slabs. 23 feet 10 inches long, 13 inches wide, crossing growing cracks, the muddy valley in between. I took count in the dark with bare feet through remnants of snow over mostly frozen ground. Crazy as it seems, I am pure liquid optimism against the doubt. It is a new beginning, a birth in a smoky taxicab. You should know this, I had doubts even before I was conceived. I remember my tail. I remember swimming like greased lightning because I didn’t want anyone to see. I thought I could make it move so fast that I might be able to both exist and disappear. (Guess what? It worked!)