this is from a piece that I am working on.
I stopped on the third day in the middle, under a tree that had one leaf remaining, almost perfectly centered amongst the brittle, naked branches. The day had brought gusts of warm fall air and this lone leaf which caught my eye as I approached was holding on. Its future was inevitable, this leaf had barred witness to the consequence of seasonal change that came upon all its kin, and yet it remained twisting and twirling, being tossed one way and then another pulled and ripped. Fighting for the chance to prolong its fate. This show struck me. I brought myself to the level of this little crumb, left over from natures feast of seasons change. I sat against the hood of my car and waited for its fate to befall it. By the time the gust that administered the final blow swept through and brought the brown, weather beaten leaf down, the sun had begun to set. I had lost four hours of driving time. Four hours that I spent sitting and thinking, and watching, as a leaf moved on. I picked the leaf off the ground, the center of which was still green with summer, and gave it a new home on my dashboard. For all I knew that leaf was waiting, for me.
During this long sojourn toward newness I would find myself caught up in the soporific melodies drifting out of the speakers trying to lull me to rest. They often succeeded and I would find myself parked on the fringe of an abandoned parking lot in the middle of nowhere, eyes closed lightly with a mind reeling in and out of consciousness. I suffered one flat tire and twenty-three strange encounters with other humans. I locked the keys in the car four times and spilled coffee in my lap, six times. I bought three packs of cigarettes, and I threw away two and a half. I bought some crappy weed from a kid at a gas station and smoked it out of an apple. I finally made it to New York. The car did not.