The towers blink red as we roll through the night. I love watching them, always waiting for that moment when they’re in sync. 

The radio’s broken in the van, so the drive is always silent. My coffee cup gasping for air, harmonizing with the environment, car sounds accompany the trip. Droning tires, the thump of potholes that plague the road like wrinkles on a brow or acne on a pubescent face.

The wind is starting to bite, but I always need a window cracked. Sometimes, I don’t live any of it. My mind too groggy to know itself. On those nights, passing through the doors into the white fluorescents seem to blind me rather than reveal the room around. So many people, their stories written in their words and on their postures and faces. None of them see me despite my long overcoat and porkpie hat.

But sometimes, it’s all alive, a beating heart beyond me but not without me. Sometimes, cutting through the light pollution, Sirius shines up there in the black and I remember the sound of my own footsteps.

Zoning the products all night, making the shelves look orderly and full, turns into a flow. Fingers barely touching the boxes, bags, and cans as—like the drive—the work unfolds in silence.

Now if only these thoughts could dwell in the same place these fingers do.


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