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"How to Disappear Completely" • Radiohead (by Ken Cormier)

Each night we drive slowly along dirt roads through sparsely settled woods. We listen to the car stereo, driving slowly and carefully and incessantly. The headlights form a tunnel in the darkness, and we keep entering into it. The trees are a canopy over our heads; every now and then it breaks, and we spy the moon and stars. We are both lonely and wounded. We pass the glass pipe back and forth. We drive between five and ten miles per hour. It is always well past midnight, and we never encounter another car. 

At the bottom of a long steep hill, we pull over to stare at a wide grassy field. All around the field the land rises; we are at the bottom of a basin. The ground is flooded with moonlight. I switch off the ignition, and without speaking we both step out of the car and shuffle toward the field. We pause. The grass is long. Its tips reflect the moonlight, and the field glitters and sways slowly, as if to an imperceptible beat. I look at the sky for a split second and see two planets moving recklessly toward each other. We take one step into the field, then another, then another, and another. We gather up the glittery specks and hide them in our pockets. 

We keep walking, and we find that the field is much larger than we had assumed. Before long we begin to worry that we may go too far, that we are already in over our heads, that we might run out of oxygen. But we are not holding our breath, and our feet have become slick balloons. The grass gets higher, or we get lower, and soon we must exert effort to push our way forward. The blades are sharp but yielding, dewy and covered with sticky hairs. Our jackets dampen and stiffen with plant resin. We plunge down and grope for the roots. The moon is here somewhere, we think (or maybe we say it out loud). We cut our fingers searching. 

Ken Cormier is a fiction writer, performance poet, independent radio producer, and musician. His live performances have been described as “a William Burroughs exorcism through a Karaoke machine.” Ken directs the Individualized and Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of Connecticut. More info at:


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