I finally reach the bottom, nearly a month later. It was a fairly easy way down, affording me ample time to range and graze comfortably like a cow in my thinking. My expectations of where I’d land changed consistently, at least once per day, sometimes thousands of times per hour. Some of the falling days were spent thinking the fall would kill me, and that this was my last day, my last second even, and other days I went leaping way ahead, wondering where I’d get linens and new clothes in the place where I landed, and if I’d need to put an ad on Craigslist to find an apartment when I got there, and how to find the right extension for Dodge City, to call the hotel and let them know I’d be gone for a long time, and to please close up my room and put all of my papers in a box or crate, making sure not to accidentally read through them even while packing them very carefully and making sure none got blown by the wind of the ceiling fan into cracks in the corner of the room. I ended up landing in a hot parking lot, with a few cars at various angles and tall weeds eating through the concrete. The ground is hard so, the moment before impact, I was sure this was it, goodbye world and so on, but, as it turns out, I landed standing up. It wasn’t even so much that  I landed, per se, but just that I ended up standing here, in the parking lot. I stood here a while, trying to remember the month of falling, unsure if it’d really happened or if I’d taken the bus out here and spent the hour or two with my head against the glass, thinking about a long, long fall, while a guy drank wine from a plastic cup in the seat next to me and asked if I knew about the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses. In this parking lot is a one-story structure, like an office or info center. I went in, and here I am now. I’m sitting in a plastic chair in a white-tiled waiting room, like the police station of some remote desert village, and there are weeds poking through the tiles in here just like there were in the parking lot, and a ceiling fan is patrolling the ceiling in slow rounds. It’s deathly hot, and I try to roll up my jeans but the material is too thick. There are others sitting here, and they watch me like they’ve been waiting a long time. There’s a magazine rack in front of an indoor window with a closed wooden shade, like where a receptionist might poke her head through to call your name. On the rack, is a children’s magazine, and another magazine that has a cover story about Kobo Abe, with a picture of a young, very muscular man who must be someone else, posing as him. The people in the waiting room look at me looking at the magazines, like they’re waiting for me to make a move. Finally, I ask aloud, “What are we all waiting for?” Heads converge on me. “Shhhhhh!” they say. “The caretaker is in there, watching his Kurosawa videos.” They nod toward the wooden curtain. “If anyone disturbs him, he’s going to start all over at the beginning.”

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