We stood in the space under a pawnshop awning: something made of flossy goodbyes and cracked leather. It was too hot for common sense. A man’s purpose gone snorkeling with the bad guys again. Never marry for sustenance. Never cuss in a one-eyed vehicle. Call dark when the headlights fail and get. Smell the temperature drop as curling becomes skidding, and the behemoth screech of steel’s last dance. Don’t worry. We’re all party hoppers here. Partly, at least. Bound by somersaulting hearts and dark glasses. Ordering our lives to-go. Penchants come and turnip seed goes. Climb on over the davenport and light this damn smoke for me, why don’t you? There’s a grenade in the glove compartment, a spider making haste on the windshield. Deported from a cliff, Monty — to a stalled roadster, to a little bastard of a vehicle with red leather bucket seats and all. Refreshments for all comers. The brakes are spiked, but not so sharp as hesitating might deliver the point. Down the long antelope grade of things, we could draw whatever conclusions we might want or need, dim in the brightest of lights, car-less, tugging the grimy nails of the shoreline to bits, caution cupped in our hands, face stuffed with wind. Steer this whole flipped rig over the concourse of my skull, mein Freund. Just break-in miles, and an extrication from a mangled cockpit, left foot still hampered there crushed between the clutch and brake pedal. Oil’s simmering, and sun-baked concrete’s steaming well-heeled ghosts. All along, lived fast to die the same, and left with the lousy things we’ve got and a bad hip. Safety last, through 39-foot broad-slides, champagne howls sent to cooler destinies. There are little ways to go from these corners, and nowhere left to get to them. The best hair on the planet pummeled around dangerous curves, hair-pinned and pointy, deserted. I remember the waxy glow of the magnolia leaves, the flour-white flowers stuck between the knuckled branches like offerings to some benevolence beyond knowing, as peeling quieted all noise, as the sky twirled along with the moment’s quiescent spell, and I spit rubber and sniffed blood, and I forgot how to see, and then lying right next to where I’d been all along, eyes off the road, gaping towards consciousness on the giant shuddering shoulders of the world.