Recycled rain washed itself over rotating car tire. It was 11pm, Tillamook pass, and the sloshing of wet pavement and rubber was muffled alongside static coming through the radio. Reception on the phone was faded, leaving unoccupied frequency and the sound of the drivers progress all that was left to enter into the car passengers ears. This rain had come in from the pacific. Having formed from the ocean some 1200 miles out, it now pestered the windshield and was tossed aside by dedicated wipers.
The soil off to the side of the road was less resistant to the liquid traveller from the west. It received it in its bounty. Drinking up the water in a way it had grown accustomed. Soil saw itself as the caddy to the trees. They soaked up the water so the pines could reveal the personality of the trodden on ground. Not much was observable when it came to soil, but soil knew that many would stop for the tree. It was symbiotic. And so the drinking of the oceans gift continued. Soil had heard murmurings of wisemen that bore gifts and travelled long distances for a boy, how much wiser the ocean off the Oregon coast must be. Traveling and bearing and giving gifts almost daily.
The car with the static radio neared the top of the pass now. Signs with “chain on” areas occupied the side of the road. A dead deer lay beneath one of the signs. About 9 hours earlier the deer wasn’t dead but was running through the forest to the south of the road. It was being chased by a hunter out of season. Already wounded from a miscalculated shot, it darted out into the road and was hit by a semi truck. This hunter had not missed its mark — the center of the road. It was right where it wanted to be. And suddenly a deer occupied the space of its weapon. The semi kept going, the hunter stood 15 yards tucked back in the woods and felt sadness and vile for the pursuit. The easier the death, the harder to bear witness.
Static car had leveled out on a plateau in the road. The sloshing tires loosened their love affair with the pavement and became drawn nearer to the water. Participating in the great miracle, the car drove atop a liquid surface, like the christ had walked. And there was no doubt here. The car did not sink back down, it kept right along in its oneness way with water.
Driver was jolted from unconscious routine. Knuckles white now, steering slightly right, they realized control was no longer theirs. Trying to stop, now half a mile past the deer, they instead slid. Now off the road they veered to the left. Static was replaced by screaming from the passenger.
Up above this scene, an insomniac squirrel watched in curiosity. Until suddenly it was jolted from its tree when the lit monster crashed into it below. Sleepless squirrel fell down and landed on the car with a thud and was insomniac no more. It participated with the soil in being cloaked in the gift from the pacific. As did the deer killed by the hunterless hunter. As did the car with the static. Baptism baptism baptism.
But not so for the driver and the passenger. They remained inside, the knocking of the gift puttering atop the roof as they too fell asleep. Dry and receiving no gifts