Recondita Dissipatio

Recondita Dissipatio

I got into the car. Any moving car.

If the owner turned left out of the parking lot I would introduce myself and ask to be dropped at the community center down the road.

She did, turn left that is, and so I introduced myself. She had sight problems, which I quickly understood when we found ourselves on the outside of a right-hand curve, veering onto a median ground.

Mississippi River, view from Fire Point, Harper’s Ferry, Iowa

Mississippi River, view from Fire Point, Harper’s Ferry, Iowa

We felt the brush of tall grass on the chassis before correcting ourselves, only to swing back into oncoming traffic on the straightaway. I don’t remember putting on my seat belt. Logically I must have. Probably, I did not.

Time was passing. I recognized less of the passing landscape. Obviously we had gone further north; “We must have taken the shore route”, I thought.

The scenery was beautiful: on one side deep greens, water fowl and an occasional house against a background of water, mountains and sky. As we sped through the landscape the forest to the left became an evergreen blur.

My erratic and sight impaired companion, now captor, took a folded map from the sun visor, squinted at the small print index and pointed to a name in blue. It was, she thought, the name of the lake we were skirting.

I took the map and tried to find the lake on the map, turning it this way and that, until my patron stopped the car, took the map back and siddled up to read it. Just as we were getting oriented, the car was in motion again, this time rolling to a stop a little further, in an angled parking space.

I stepped out of the car. I was being watched. I felt it. At my feet, a dark-haired woman with wildness in her hair and eyes sat on the sidewalk, her feet tucked under her in a half-squat, a tropical white cotton dress shifting in the breeze.

Here was desire.

I had turned it down twice this morning, and I had turned down an offer of a disinterested if distracted friendship to collaborate on a book. I was being spirited from my objective by a blind and reckless woman who, no doubt had her own designs. And here I was, standing by a stone wall, in a gentrified medieval village on the shore of some unknowable lake district confronted with desire.

Desire was not her name, mind you. It is what I saw in her eyes…