June 1, 2008


As I drive along the dotted line the harvest moon appears behind the tall pines. The great orange ball climbs rapidly up the star-sprinkled curtain of night. An amber glow colors the countryside and invades my own space through the moonroof of the big truck. The contrasting dashboard lights create the mood of a timeship crossing a golden border between dimensions. The tall, dark silhouettes of the trees stand like stately guards to watch the crossing. Only the swath of headlight beams cut through the orange and black to reveal the reality of the road.

So I clip along the dotted line, a coupon of a piece of time..

A picture postcard I can't send... but the highway doesn't end.

I crawl along the dotted line, urging the huge motor against the heavy load as it struggles up the mountainside. Then atop the hill I see unfolding before me the purple haze that gives Great Smoky Mountains the name. Rising close ahead, and then again farther away, and yet again in the distance with the violet clouds nestled in between each row. The dusk still reveals the curling smokestrings rising from the chimneys of the modest dwellings that dot the mountain. They speak of humble lives in the bosom of great majesty as they join and disappear into the haze itself. The red-orange smear of the sunset paints a counterpoint to the rolling pastures and dark mountain faces.

I clip along the dotted line, and save the image in my mind...

Another picture I can't send... and the highway doesn't end.

The dotted line branches into a desolate rest area on a winter peak in New York State. The floodlights on high poles shine as spotlights on a darkened stage. The thick black night prevails except where the light shows the falling snow blowing in from above and disappearing as it leaves the light. A lone figure stands in one spotlight over a telephone box. He hunches his shoulders against the cold breath of the winter as he makes an obviously necessary call. Other spotlights reveal a small building waiting for someone to shelter. An automobile, loaded with worldly goods and a sleeping family, collects snow on the silent stage. Barely visible in the dark background, stand the naked trees like actors in the next scene, waiting for their cue. A salt truck rumbles by, seasoning the dotted line, making it more appealing to the stranded travelers trying to get off the mountain as the drifts begin to grow.

I clip along the dotted line, the scene I hoped I wouldn't find...

a postcard I don't want to send... and the highway doesn't end.

I zip along the dotted line and Pennsylvania rolls away beneath my wheels as I cross the deep river gorge on a bridge high in the air. The white cotton clouds in the azure sky create dark shadow animals that undulate along the rolling peaks as they slither by on the hillside. The huge expanse of green pasture blanket sparkles here and there with patches of early snow and whitewashed villages flung against the mountainside. Amidst the crimson colors of fall in the forest one tree flaunts its incongruous yellow plumage in the bright sun.

I cut along the dotted line, as the panorama does unwind...

the postcard view I can not send... And the highway doesn't end.

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