The Dust Journals – Part IV

Thursday, February 17, 2157

I made it through the tunnel, but I have to tell this story first.

The last flight I ever took – I was probably 14 or something – we were coming back from Europe. We flew over Greenland part of the trip. Great-granddad told me about how it was this large sheet of white. For miles and miles, all you saw was white. He said he tried to find the hills and slopes and canyons camouflaged by the white.

Needless to say, by the time I flew over Greenland, it was a lot less white. But there was this one spot, this one patch that I saw every year. Every time we flew, and flew the circumpolar route, which was virtually every time, we flew over Greenland and I got to see my little patch of white.

Seeing it told me that the world wasn’t really going to hell, that it was gonna by OK, just like great-granddad used to say. He said that the doomsayers were just whiners that hated progress.

Right. OK? So, I had a thing for the patch of white. It gave my reassurance.

Then, on that last trip back from Europe, it vanished.

I looked and looked and could not find it. I got irritated. I rang the flight attendant. Where it is? I asked. He said he did not know what I was talking about. I said, the white patch. There was a white patch down there. He sort of smirked at me and said, Sir, there hasn’t been any white down there for a long, long time.

I told him you’re wrong, you’re wrong. There was a patch, a little patch of white and I pointed towards the ground through my porthole, jabbing my finger on the window, as if I were pointing at a place on a map.

And he walked away from me. Sorry kid, no white. Not anymore.

I got kinda hysterical. My father slapped me. Don’t make a scene.

And I wept to myself, leaning against the window. Greenland passed out of view, replaced by ocean. I didn’t make it up, I kept muttering. It was there! It was there!

In just a year, it had gone away.

That, in a nutshell, is the reason why I never wanted to go through the tunnel. I didn’t want to see what had become of what I once knew. I didn’t want to find anything missing, like the patch of white snow. I didn’t want reality to smirk at me and slap me in the face, like it did on the plane ride.

But I’m here now, at the mouth of the fourth bore on the bay side.

I can see the children of my little white patch from Greenland, playing with its relatives, lapping on shores of what used to be Piedmont. I found my little white patch. It had metastasized into a giant.

© 2014, gar. All rights reserved.


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