Thursday, January 26, 2017

On The Road To Nebraska: Part 1. A Voice Like Trumpets Sounding

After a hundred thousand miles in a year the road starts to get wearisome. Sal was weary of the road that's for damn sure. He needed a vacation. Needed a break. Sal needed to stop crossing Nebraska. East and West and back again, always on I-80.  The winter sun was setting. Always setting. The CB was full of the same idiots and Sal was tired of the radio stations he got on this part of the run. He liked outlaw country but that was about all he could listen to on the radio out here and he was tired of it. Sal was weary of just about everything. The flat land around him looked tired too. The fields that stretched out on either side of the road and he was tired of trying to conceive of where they ended. Somewhere south, to the right, they ended in the Gulf of Mexico. Did they though? Sal wasn't sure. He'd need to look at a map. The question of whether or not Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico was directly south of him at the present moment carried Sal for twenty miles and then it faded into the grey-brown distance of the fields. There was only the monotony of the endless plains, the endless low rises and dips. There was only the low hanging clouds that never seemed to go away, never seemed to let any sunshine in. There was the road which Sal's eyes read as a moving image, the endless stream of a broken line down the center and the painted yellow on the right and on the left. Bridges went over the truck. Exit ramps flew up on the right and on ramps descended. Somewhere outside of Grand Island, 80 closed down to one lane. Construction for six miles. The cars slowed down, and then they all stopped and then Sal heard a voice and a light flashed and a voice spoke and everything went black.

The voice was so loud he couldn't hear what it said. It spoke with such force that he couldn't comprehend individual sounds or words. The voice spoke to him without moving the air. It raised the hairs on his arms and sent pulsing waves of shivers down his spine and down his limbs. He shook and shivered and spasmed and quivered and the truck lurched forward and his foot hit the brake and it stopped. Sal was deafened and blinded and suddenly alive in a silent black void.

The endless fields of grey brown were gone. The winter sun had set and the world turned into a pool of ink. He felt wind move over him, he felt fire in his gut, he felt each and every one of the hairs on his head stand up. Stand straight up. He had lost control of his body, it moved on without him. He was present though. He was present and felt everything. Heard everything. Couldn't comprehend everything it was too much. It's like when you loose yourself staring into a fire at night only with your whole body. The word is fascinated. The word fascinated is not enough to describe what happened to Sal on highway I-80 in the middle of Nebraska. 

The door to the truck was opened and somebody put the thing in park and Sal was unbuckled from his seat. Hands lifted him up. He felt touched by light. Wind whispered over his skin. He felt every fiber in his clothes. He felt every hair in his body stand on end. He could smell the engine. He could smell the heat from the brakes on his truck. He could smell sweat and fear, his own sweat and fear, and the fear and sweat of the people pulling him from the truck. He could smell every idling car on the highway backing up behind them.

How do you know when God has called you? In the Bible they say that God speaks with a voice as loud as trumpets. Sal didn't have time to think though sight-blinded, and the rushing wind of the world sussuring in his ears. He couldn't think, couldn't process, is nerves were on fire from the heightened sensations rushing in through his skin. He could taste the air now, not just smell it, could taste it, and it was like breathing in water. He felt as if he was thrown into a hot bath of glass. Everything moved thick and slow and seared him with the heat. How do you know when God has called you? How do you know there is such a thing as God? How do you know that you're not experiencing a psychotic break?

There was no time for fear. There was no time. There was only infinity in the hands and the wind.

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