The narrow mountain road twists uphill between a wooded mountainside and a large lake. I steady the tires against the rough gravel with my knee as I spit on my sunglasses. Maybe the odd, splintery light glinting in the outskirts of my eyesight was an effect of the shifting sun passing through tinted glass. The vaguely colorful specters disappeared momentarily when I put my spit-shined shades back on, only to flare up again a second later, somehow more active and more fleeting, dancing along the perimeters of my vision and consciousness alike in shadowy electric currents.
Light often plays tricks on vision, I said outloud to myself. I rolled all four of the truck’s windows down hoping a breeze would shake me out of it. The rush of air filling my truck’s cabin brought in the smell of the lake and my only thought was of turquoise. In an intoxicating instant the crystalline water grew from inhabiting only part of my attention in the corner of my eye out of the passenger side window, to suddenly being the whole of everything I felt. The coarse hairs in my nasal cavity and ear canals were suddenly geodic, mineralized, encrusted; tasting deep earth roots. I knew I wasn’t dying because I wasn’t watching myself from above. In fact it was the opposite of an out of body experience, because I was completely and timelessly within an iteration of my own stream of consciousness. I watched soberly as my neurology melted into incoherence, some small shard of my mind struggling to wrest meaning from the experience, the dissolution and rendering of my entire sensory palette, laid at my feet in an inside-out ocean of light.
And the whole time my body just kept driving the truck up the mountain. The golden dust from my tires was suspended in the air wherever the dappled afternoon sun trickled through the forest canopy.
The radio had always been on, but I wasn’t hearing music. I was hearing other things I had said, at other times, or in other places, or not at all, just said ‘em inside my head.