[I walk into a dive bar in Seattle proper, huddles of world-weary natives and cockeyed collegiates knocking back beers at their subtly-lit battle-stations.

I sit amidst them, neither tourist nor townie. A transient. (Aren't I always.)

When I ask the bartender for a shot, I look to my left and right to make sure I am indeed here by myself.

(Who's followed me in?)

(Who hasn't?)

I love the road, but this shit fucking wails on my nerves. An epileptic and a schizophrenic walk into a bar, isn't that how the joke goes? (Ha ha.)

How much of my life has taken place (will take place) between these two dashed white lines?

I keep on, because the threat of perfection is eternal. But after twenty years, the only skill I've under my belt is the efficient expulsion of waste product. (And even that, barely.)

I wrote about the rage, but I never peeled it back to expose the fear.

It's fear in their eyes I see, now. An annihilating fear; the fear of prey under fire.

Can I blame them?

(Answer: Yes.)

What I set out to find is not gone for good, but it sure as hell ain't here right now.]