so very alive

He began to conceive of the end
death didn’t seem imminent
but at last he could get his arms around the idea
that it was up ahead there somewhere
he could conceive of it
he began to have a Thornton Wilder
sense of all that he’d be leaving
all that ‘Our Town’ gratitude
for the ordinary
which becomes extraordinary
and then some
when you must go away

for all Eternity

he began to drive his car
with the driver side window open
the other drivers may keep
their windows up
the better to avoid being bitch-slapped
by the slipstream as you do 80
on the freeway
but he wanted the full sensation
the blast on his temporary little nerve endings

he wanted his temporal
if corporeally overweight
body to interface more often
with the surrounding environment
every tickling breeze could be his last
or was in any case a sensation he
would soon enough kiss goodbye
so yes he drove everywhere
with his driver side window down

and what of it
and in a lashing rain
one of a finite number of lashing rains
he would ever know again
he would drive
with his driver side window down
the other drivers staring at this
wanton jackass on the freeway
their thin judgement didn’t matter
he was so very alive with the rain
pelting his forearm and shirtsleeve
and the people roaming the earth
like vaguely informed phantoms
and those goggle-eyed fellow phantoms
on the freeway
they mattered not

which is to say they didn't matter
when he got to his place of work
his lavishly soaked left side
the inside of his car a fool's shower stall
these totems alerted the gods
whose approval was only piqued
by those mortals who knew them to be hovering

like brass-knuckled dockworkers
in the ether
and though the other temporal phantoms
glared from their work stations
with unconcealed amusement
he went about his business
a lone self-loving phantom
a sprig of the Eternal
eventually breaking the spell by changing
in the men’s room

donning the dry shirt he’d long since rolled up
and stuffed into his attaché.