Van Braun’s Children

“If this is to be practiced for every meaning posited—for every word, utterance, sentence, but also for every phoneme, every letter—we need to proceed in such a way that linear reading is no longer possible: that is, the retroactive impact of the end of each word, utterance, or sentence upon its beginning must be taken into consideration in order to undo the power of its teleological effect, including its deferred action.” —Luce Irigaray, The Power of Discourse

Everything empties out or closes down at nine, pretty sharp, except on weekends when the depot might stay open until 11, or even midnight if you were friends with Don and he felt like drinking. Other than that all you had left was the gas station or thr freeway, both of which were technically open all night but usually went dark about three.

You could take the freeway somewhere, sure, but it was over a hundred miles in any direction before you’d hit anyplace that didn’t shut down at nine, and a hundred dark and empty miles lit only by your headlights and the reflections bouncing off wild dog eyes.

So we stayed in town, drinking Leinie’s in the gas station parking lot and driving increasingly eccentric orbits around the middle of town. Every so often someone would fly out into the night and plow into a tree or a fence post or something and then the shitheels at the station would crack down, but it was either scoop the loop or stay home and at least with the loop you could pretend you were going somewhere meaningful, somewhere alien and wonderful, where you couldn’t see the damnable stars and where noise, real human noise, might drown out the shrill whine of the crickets.