Meh. I am a little annoyed. See, I like Have Gun — Will Travel and shows like it. I know there’s about a billion episodes of HGWT but I’ve only seen a handfull. It’s a Western but, from the episodes I’ve managed to see, it’s not like a typical Western. Paladin has no trouble solving problems with excessive violence, but he can also wrangle a situation so it works out well for everyone without having to shoot someone. It’s all down to the situation.
So when other shows come around that are sort of like it, like The Equalizer and Stingray I tend to watch them. When I know about them. It turns out there’s another one out there called Vengeance Unlimited but it has never been released on DVD. And that annoys me because how else am I going to get to see it?
I drove down the road, if you wanted to call it that. It was narrow and unpaved; more of a track than a road. That’s what we had back then. Only the major thorofares were paved. Anyway, I drove along it in the dark because there weren’t no lights. Weren’t much of anything but cows and horses. Maybe some sheep. The headlights shone ahead a bit. Far enough so I could see any big rocks looming up but not much else. Nora sat beside me, leaning against me with her legs stretched out towards her door. She was small and the bench seat was huge. She could’ve laid out and still been comfortable.
Slowing down I turned off the road and drove into a field. You could do that back then, as long as there weren’t no fences up. Just slow down and look for a spot level enough and without any shrubs then drive across the landscape. With no lights and not a lot of cops it wasn’t hard to get away with. I don’t even know if it would’ve been a problem if anyone had seen.
I turned off the truck. Nora grabbed the basket and blanket and we managed to get it all in the bed of the truck. We spread the blanket out and then lay down. I guess we could’ve laid on the ground, but Nora wasn’t keen on getting crawled on by bugs or snakes. Can’t say I blame her because I didn’t either, I just wasn’t gonna be the one to admit to it. So we laid down on the blanket and looked up.
With no mountains, trees, or lights and a new moon, there was nothing up there but stars. It really did look like a big overturned bowl full of shining lights and white dust, like chalk. Nora held onto my arm and stared. The crickets were playing but I could hear her excited breath. To me, they were just lights in the sky. Pretty, but just lights. To Nora, they were everything.
“When we get old,” she’d say, “we still should come out here. Just lay here and look.”
We would, too, fairly often. As the years passed by, though, things got busy and it slipped our minds. Wars, work, kids… There was always something to occupy us. Eventually, though, the road wasn’t a narrow dirt track no more. It turned into a two lane highway at first, but kept getting bigger over the years. Lights were put up along it on account of wildlife running across and general safety. Even the fields gave way to housing developments and strip malls. I even had it figured that our favorite spot turned into the lighting department of the Home Depot.
You could still go there at night, but you weren’t going to see much. All the lights from the businesses washed the sky out to a uniform gray with only the brightest of stars able to be seen. You’d be bothered by bugs, too, attracted by the lights. And the homeless and drug-crazed lunatics.
Nora passed away. I thought I would follow but I stuck around for a few years, watching the world change and grow brighter. And then there was “The Pill.”
Back in my day, “The Pill” was birth control. But that’d been taken care of and people had their baby making facilities turned off at birth and turned ‘em back on when they felt ready to be in a family way. Now “The Pill” was a life extending thing. You took it and it added years to your life. A lot of folks were suspicious of it for different reasons. Some didn’t think it worked. Some felt it was doing God’s work and that by taking it we’d incur His wrath.
Now, I miss Nora. Still, to this very day. But, damn me, I took “The Pill.” I’d already lived a long time and was ready to go, if that was what was going to happen. I looked forward to seeing Nora again in the next life. But I also wanted to see what came next. Folk thought I was being optimistic but, really, I just saw things as getting worse and was curious to know how it was going to end up.
So I told Nora I was sorry and to forgive me for delaying and I took “The Pill.” And again. And again.
Even with the baby making stuff turned off it got crowded. The road isn’t there no more. Neither is the Home Depot. They leveled all that and put up a big tower. And when I say big, I mean it’s several miles across at its base and goes up for a long, long ways. People live in it, now. A lot more than could be fit just on the ground. It’s covered in lights. And there’s a lot more towers like it around.
The night sky is blank and there aren’t any lights in the heavens anymore; they’re all down here on Earth.
I’ve been unemployed for a bit over a month. I suppose the ‘vacation’ part is over now that the holidays are finished. Well, except for Valentine’s Day which I’m not a part of. It might be time to start reading some books, learning some new stuff, or doing something to occupy my time when my job search is complete for the day. Of course, with gas prices so low (along with the temperature) it might be a good time to find places to take more pictures. All I know is that I’ll need something to occupy some of my time because sitting around and brooding isn’t something that works.