Driven


A Xerox copy of a handwritten letter sent anonymously and without a date, via the US postal service, to the newspaper I used to work for, but never taken seriously:

“All I did was step off trail long enough to empty my bladder and now, I’m lost. Where Andy and Ryan went, I don’t know and I never did catch up with them. Bilateral tinnitus is affecting me in the worse way. The hum, like the sound made by a tuning fork, is buzzing around in my head, a maddening cacophony of highs and lows. All of this is strange, and that’s why I’m taking time to write it down. And when I say strange, I mean it in the ‘paranormal’ sense, a word I wouldn’t normally use because I wouldn’t want to be thought of as nuts. But I think I’m gonna die and I don’t have time to worry about what anyone thinks. Four different times I saw would-be rescuers. The first two times, I turned in their direction and walked down a hill and into a small gorge only to come out on the other side, with no one around. The third was that damned helicopter. It buzzed over me twice, both times as I whipped my yellow safety vest over my head like a lasso. They never saw me, thought I clearly saw their faces inside the craft. That’s how low they were over me. It was seeing the house, across a creek, lights on in late afternoon, that I finally figured out that something beyond this worldly plain is going on. As I walked down into the flats towards this creek, because of the landscape, it dropped from sight for a couple minutes and when I came to where I am certain I should have seen it again, both the house and creek was gone. Confused, I looked back and saw the creek, saw the house, and found that I had somehow passed them. So, I turned and head back again, only to have them reappear behind me again. As I continue to trudge through these granite strewn mountains, I’ve also learned that the hum, the forks, grow louder or duller, depending on my direction. So whatever is happen, whatever is doing this, I am being driven in a singular direction. Though weak from continual walking and a lack of food, I am overheating. I took off my boots, socks and jacket, hoping to cool off, but must have forgotten them because they are no longer with me. This brings me to another thing, I have the sensation of being in bubble or maybe a four-sided triangle. When I walk, my feet don’t touch actually the ground. I can’t feel the shards of rock or the bushes as I plod along. However, when I stop, I can feel the earth beneath my feet. That is how I can sit here and write this. Soon I will find a large rock and with my vest as a marker, place the rock on top of it and my day-pack with the hope that it’ll be found one day. And I hope this note, letter, whatever you wanna call it, helps explain what happened, though I don’t know exactly what is happening to me now. My cellphone hasn’t worked in days, I’m out of food and water and I am still being driven forward. To where, I don’t know. All I can think is that after I mark this note with my vest and the rock, I will continue to wander until I’m dead. Finally — to my wife, son and daughters: I love you, take care of each other as best you can. Ryan and Andy: Me getting lost ain’t your fault. I go with God now. Goodbye, everyone.  — yours, Kris”

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