Take a journey with me tonight. Put that pack of cigarettes up on the dash of the Delta ’88. There is this town I want to take you to. It’s a place where everybody sleeps all day long. When it rains the silver drops rise up from the ground into the sky. All of the lawnmowers in this town sound exactly like the purring a cat makes as it licks cream from a jewelled dish. All of the houses are built over the lake on stilts. When nobody is looking, they pick themselves up off the ground and dance about, wearing their patio lanterns like strings of jewels.
Take a journey with me. There is this little cafe off the motorway where they serve coffee that tastes like heavy water, and the jukebox is haunted by the ghost of an octogenarian violinist who hanged himself for the love of a red-headed waitress. All it has played for the past twenty years are off-key lullabies and middle European folk dances that bring to mind woodsmoke and werewolves.
Come with me. Pack your most comfortable dancing shoes, because we’ll be there just in time for the Spring Tango Festival. We’ll decorate your little black dress with glowworms and pearls. Next day, when we’re sleepy and hung over, we’ll get up late and visit the bird’s nest museum, or take a tour of the sun dial plant.
Buckle up your seat belt and roll down the window. Smell the smoke of funeral pyres and the breath of mermaids on the morning air. Don’t be afraid just because there is no speed limit on this highway. Feel the air currents blowing through your hair and your fingers. You look so beautiful with that map of the Himalayas spread across your thighs.
Or perhaps we will want to take it slow. We’ll only drive backwards at five miles an hour in the dead of night. You can sit on the hood and make up new names for all the constellations: the seven stars that form Lumides the Pants Salesman; the faintest possible cluster known as Betty the Snake Charmer.
Take a long road trip with me. We can summon trees and sleeping cows with the magic of our headlights. We can listen to the gospel hour and talk about cockroaches and airports and soap. We can be stuck in traffic at midnight exactly half way between heaven and hell on the edge of a great desert with all the angels singing overhead and the brake lights of the cars in front of us glowing like embers, glowing like souls. Glowing like us.