Roadside America


The half-life of neon is longest at 3.38 minutes. Most variations come in under the 60 second mark. Radioactive decay. To think, a whole world rose out of this, an element so scarce on earth that it could only live here contained in a glass tube. 

If you ruminate too much, America seems like it never made it beyond Tocqueville’s diary. The roadside, the motel, the dream of travel. To be temporary somehow became the ultimate success story.

You worry that this says everything about you. You worry that the pull of neon reveals a base desire to dig a hole and block out anything but the brightest light, some obnoxious beam that casts shadows like dismal reason. 

Maybe you want to be consumed.

So you wake up sluggishly, morning after morning. Perfume air, heavy drapes, nice light on the clothes rack that you never use. Happy but.

You were promised the Stardust sign.

Didn’t happen.

There are postcards on the night table. Grey light and scattered colors. We make gods of the shiniest things, and look at pictures as some sort of reprieve. 

Neon. The new. Energy.

It’s always the new energy. 

Have I been having nightmares again?

Elie DahdouCraigin Spring, John GreimJulian Becker

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Driving through forgotten highways, the old magic of the land starts to creep down your spine…