uncertain cities

words and sequences of them by Rhett Davis


They have been working on the road near our house for months now. Trucks park next to our driveway and graders rumble all day. I don’t know what is taking them that long. I could ask them. I’m on waving terms with the guy at the “road closed” sign. I could go up and ask him. But I prefer to be at a distance. You could say this is a metaphor for a much greater truth about my life, but it would be a clumsy one, and inaccurate. I went to see George Saunders and he said some profound things and I felt inspired, until I forgot the profound things on the ride home and became uninspired again. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked in the same places. Sometimes I’m sick of them. You can change the concrete and rip up the road, but it’s still the same damn street. You can paint the walls but it’s still the same house, with cold corners and dank underneaths and spider-infested ceilings. We went to a field in the morning and it was foggy and there were spiderwebs over all of the grass. There must have been millions of them in that one field, working away in the dank underneaths, waiting for their feasts to come flying in. The early morning sun melted over them, and formed halos in the fog. The field was brilliant bright yellow-white, and we strayed off the path to take photos. The mist rose from the river nearby. I’d been there many times before, but I hadn’t seen that.