Air

He placed his mortgage bills, his bank statement, his checkbook, his utility bills, his cell phone bill, and his credit cards on the passenger seat of his car and held them all down with a brick-sized book of matches. He shrugged off his hiking pack, opened the trunk, and placed the pack carefully inside. In the back seat he tossed a pillow and a rolled-up sleeping bag. He opened the front door and climbed inside feeling weightless and sat and sheathed the key and twisted the key and drove and drove.

The radio was tuned to CBC Radio 2 and it was playing Stan Getz. He rolled down the window and held onto the roof and the bills flapped a little but remained held down by the matchbook. The nighttime air collided with his vehicle, split, and washed over the side, licking into the car, swimming through his armhair, rolling off his elbow and gliding back and away.

Entranced, he drove. He twisted the volume knob. Jazz and wind. He was sound and air sweeping low along the highway. He had no name. He was kinetic saxophone singing. Everything in the seat next to him was air too. Soon, smoky air.

He traveled. He filled up. He kept going. Slept in his car, in the bush. Not human, not beast. Elemental. One by one, every day, a stack of paper rose crackling into the sky. They warmed him instead of burned him. And he was lighter each night. Less corporeal. A fading ghost.

Soon, it was only him. No name or debt or money or relationships. One with the world. Free.

Day 209’s three random prompt categories were, “FREEDOM,” “Jazz,” and, “Driving all night with the windows down.”

Sometimes you just want to cut and run.

– H.

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