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“Late Night Drive”
 
It was 2:03am
he still had
over 200-miles
till he hit Vegas
the road was
empty
and all his
windows
were down
his car
stereo
was as loud
as it could
possibly go,
even at this
late hour
the outside
air
was in the
90’s
his mind felt
wide open
driving alone
out here
through the
night time
desert plains
finally free
from all that
San Fernando
smog
that gets
bottled up
in the valley
when the temp
hits triple digits
able to think
now
with a clear
head
so many new
ideas
flowing through
his mind
the seeds of
which are
coming in with
the hot night
air
then getting
bounced
around
with his music
till they form,
that stagnant
valley heat
was really
getting to him
like someone
had
put a plastic
bag
over his head
leaving him to
breath
the same
dirty
sticky air
over and over
in till all
it’s life giving
oxygen
was exhausted
and the last
thing
his eyes see
before he
releases his
grip
on this world’s
reality
is
“Thanks for
Shopping,
Come again”
printed upside
down
on the outside
of the bag,
he jerks the
car
to the right
almost going
off the
road
when a piece
of trash,
a plastic bag
comes out of
the dark
caught in a
desert updraft
and had floated
into his lane
of traffic,
he’s struck with
something
between
déjà vu
and stupid
irony
he vows
right then
and there
to switch from
plastic
back
to paper
when ever given
the chance,
he had rolled
around
in his sweat
stained sheets
for hours
unable to sleep
a certain girl
on his mind
who kept
dragging herself
through his
restless state
which just
compounded
his situation
he finally just
said “F--- it”
if I can’t sleep
I might as well
head to Vegas
where everything
is air conditioned
and there are
plenty of distractions
and when he
ever does
get to sleep
she won’t be
around to
blow holes
in all of his
dreams,
his heart was
beating very fast
well before the
rouge plastic bag
encounter
due more to
his choice
of music
it was hard
and fast
from the
70’s & 80’s
at twenty five
most everything
he listened to
was well before
he was ever
born
he refuses to
play
mixed C/D’s
too many great
songs
get lost to
the annals of
time
that way
forgotten B-tracks
skipped over
due to the
sheer laziness
of the listener
he transfers
the whole record
to C/D
and always listens
to both sides,
the records of
that period
had power and
force
pressed into
their vinyl
every cut
laid down
was meant to be
listened too
not like
all that crap
today
that gets pressed
between the only
two songs
that the artist
ever really planned
on you hearing,
if the world
would have just
stuck with
records
music would have
been
much better off,
he sees a
billboard for
the MGM Grand
he had once
spent five days
at the MGM
and never once
did he step
a foot outside
though it wasn’t
till his drive
back to the
valley
that he came
to realize it,
no clocks
windows
or any kind of
noticeable change
with the indoor
lighting
you start to
forget
the sun
and the sky
even exist
rotating
mealtimes
disappear
you just eat
when you’re hungry
never checking
the time
meals become
more of an
annoyance
hunger
gets use to
being suppressed
and only pokes
it’s head out
once
everyday or so,
he picks up on
the dead silence
as his stereo
switches C/D’s
giving the openness
of the desert
an eerie feeling
the moon and
the stars
seem brighter
and more defined
in that lapse
of sound
as the next
C/D
is shuffled up
front
from its place
in line
and the night
air
is once again
charged with
life
from his music
this time a
early 80’s
So Cal Venice
punk band
“Suicidal Tendencies”
takes the top
slot
what a cool name
for a band
he always thought
he had once
made a list
of bands
he wished
he would have
been able to
go see
before they were
known
got made into
a national name
back when they
were still doing
keg parties
and practicing in
some guy’s
garage
fans wearing
home-made
tee-shirts
to show their
loyalty,
that’s the cool
thing
about Punk
and thrash metal
it’s such a
small circle
even when the
bands
make it big
even then
most people
couldn’t name
their songs
yea
“Suicidal Tendencies”
was on that
list,
he rubs his
eyes
their dry from
the heat
and lack of
sleep
and she’s still
hanging around
in his thoughts
he was sure
he had left
her far behind
back in the
valley
with it’s
boxed up
heat
and airborne
dirt
but he was
wrong again,
he looked at
the road
and then
the passenger
seat
he can’t stop
himself
from picturing
her
sitting there
looking back
at him
shaking her
head
asking why
he’s got that
deep look
on his face
as he stares
at her
she pulls her
knees
up to her
chest
and hides
behind them
like a little
girl
as she scrolls
through
her phone
safe from his
stare
which makes him
laugh out loud
as if she was
really there
besides him,
he double checks
the volume
to make sure
it is set at
maximum
he still has
a couple of
hours
left to drive
before the sun
takes over the
sky
and the thought
of all that
light
scares him
he punches
the gas
and without thinking
takes his hand
and touches his
sunglasses
which he always
has hanging
around his neck
his one line of
defense
against the sun
and the world
that it illuminates
he settles back
into his seat
looking at that
point
on the horizon
where the road
meets the sky
“maybe I should
call her”
he says
as he turns
towards the
empty seat
besides him
and sees her
with her back
against her door
legs pulled up
still hiding
behind her knees
only the top
of her
pixie cut hair
showing
“yea,
I think I am
going to
call her”…
 
     Tom Allen…01-12-2018…