“He’s naked?” Your doctor asks.

“Yes. And he’s walking toward the water, walking toward me. His eyes are fixed on mine. Where only my head and shoulders remain above the water.”

“But my eyes are absorbing him whole, taking in his hair, his shoulders, thighs and feet, and I can’t deny my insides are blushing with the daring hang of his heavy.”

“Is the thought of him naked in the water turning you on?”

“Yes.”

~ VI ~

The road reaches on into the distance, a dividing line, splitting this wild isolation into two halves.

Far away, I focus my line of sight toward the wide, horizontal fold, an imagined crease where I play with the notion of a paper earth, once folded, and now flattened, against an origami sky.

The relentless straight of the tarmac, reaching out to a vanishing point, the pulse of the central yellow line whipped underneath the constant revolution of my front wheel.

The beauty of it all is in the nothing. And the nothing doesn’t hide out here. There’s no one out here. It’s just me, the bike, the road and the sky.

I haven’t passed a car or truck since I left the last gas station. I haven’t come up on anyone either. I check my mirrors, and they remain empty.

The freedom of this nothing allows me one of my most guilty pleasures. For out here I can cast the hook of my imagination out into a lake of possibilities and wait to see what bites.

And okay, I’ll confess, sometimes I’ll bait the hook, hoping to attract a certain catch, but regardless of probability, the truth is once I feel the bite, then the fun really begins, and the road just disappears along with the time, as I focus on reeling in the possibilities and wondering whatever will I find on the end of my line?

Patience. I look at the clouds and search for shapes, just as the old tribes would have, pre-civilization. I don’t find meaning, but there’s endless beauty in the form. Shadows cast across the flat lands, drifting, untethered, cargo ships of rain and thunder.

I toy with the idea of pulling over. Just for the sake of it. To kill the engine and listen to the silence. Is there an anxiety pushing me to get to the next place? Probably, yes. It’s not normal to be this alone. It’s not normal to stop either, is it?

But I don’t feel lonely, not out here at least. In truth almost never when I’m isolated. Much more likely when I’m with people.

FOMO, a fear of missing out. Is this my problem? Whereby to stop, to pull over, would mean to arrive later, and I might miss out on something? But then to not stop might mean I miss out on something here? But what could I miss out on out here?

Nothing. I could miss out on nothing.

continued…