The road is beginning to wear on me. It was wearing on me the day I left now three weeks ago. It is with every joy in my body that I will be meeting Delilah the day after tomorrow for old habits will feel like fresh skin.
Friday, August 11th
You can smell it. Somewhere on the periphery, there is a smell you can't quite identify. Driving north out of Detroit, there are barely any scents that rise above the diesel fumes resting on top of blacktop that melts under the August sun. There are notes beyond the city, but all you can pick out is dogshit boiling on that ashpalt. Sitting in stop-and-go traffic, the question becomes, "Why leave during rush hour?" as your nostrils fill up with the fresh cinder of what until very recently used to be a house but is now, at best, a statistic no one will read.
There is fresh air outside of the city - fresher even than that at the river. You might think for a moment that it is the crisp, verdant scent of summer. It isn't. There is a barbeque spilling smoke a mile off the freeway, and there is a brush fire twenty miles after a grass burn. Urban, rural, it doesn't matter. Everything is burning down. The ash will be good for the soil you remind yourself lest despair creep in.
Going west, trees begin to crowd the farms which long ago fought off the housing developments. Despite the lush, green canopies stretching to the horizon, the air smells crisp, and that mystery scent begins to come into focus. You can't see it, but you can smell it. Death is in the air, and months of decay are to follow. Fall is coming.