Saturday, September 21, 2013


I walked into a cornfield in late September.  The day was nearing dusk as clouds formed on the horizon, shafts of light bursting the white veil.  I parked at the side of the road and got out, not even bothering to shut the door.  It’s like I was heeding the call of autumn, or maybe I just succumbed to corn tassels whispering in the wind.  The smell of smoke from a distant barn wafted through the crisp air.  As I ventured through the threshold from the highway to quietude, my mind was still replete with the affairs of the day.  Traveling from town to town and balancing at least two careers and many roles can take its toll sometimes.  Life is complicated and full of moral ambiguities, I thought, like the cacophony created by a cluster of chromatic notes.   Dissonance resonates with me.  In that moment, though, I heard only the sound of discarded husks crunching under my feet.
I must have trudged about twenty yards into this amber forest when I found myself in a small clearing.  Strange.  Perhaps the rocky soil in this part of the field prevented growth.  Suddenly I felt like the scattered seed of a parable.  I thought to myself: If I could build a little shelter or pitch a tent, I could live here, provided that it remain September perpetually and Farmer Johnson never check on his crops.  Maybe I could drive my Ford Focus in here, cover up the tracks, and reside in my car in the middle of this cornfield.  I’d live off the corn, ants, and a flask of Gentleman Jack that somehow made it into my trunk. 

As I chuckled to myself, a silhouetted figure about twenty feet to my right caught my attention.  It was raised aloft with outstretched, handless arms, looking like one of the criminals on Golgotha.  Scarecrows fascinate me, especially since they always seem to come to life in the movies.  I desperately wanted it to move.  I wanted to see demons crawling out of its mouth or burst out of the black overcoat that Farmer Johnson hastily threw over it.  I wanted to see something.  I looked long and hard into its canvas-sack face.  It had no nose or mouth, just eyes made from cut-off corncobs.  Does he really scare the crows away?  I threw dirt clods at the dark thing hoping to piss it off and animate it.  Nothing.  No movement.  Without ghosts and goblins in the world, I ruminated, life is so meaningless and mundane.  Atheists tell me that you live only once.  That may be, but if I am to expire into nothingness at some future date, preferably later than sooner, my earthly existence in the meantime needs sorting out, disentangling.  I have no time to hide in this cornfield, much less to dream about a future Golden Cornfield in the sky.  I got back in my car and took the county road to the Interstate.