the Dog Barrens are a new invention, of sorts. it’s not like I magically created land between two points of the map. it’s more of Christopher Columbus thing where you give a place a name and it snaps into existence even though the natives having been living there for millenia, quite aware that land doesn’t need a name to be lived on or to prove its existence.
being so new, I’m not even sure of its spelling yet, Dog or Dawg. its surname is a misnomer also: the land isn’t empty or unoccupied. it is quiet and unassuming, simple and uneventful. if it’s barren of anything, it’s the complication of big cities and sprawling suburbs and new-formed exoburbs. and it is that special quality and its rareness in these times that makes the Dog Barrens beautiful.
The Fox Hollows get their name from the many holes, cuts, and hiding places for the foxes that patrol this stretch of road. I don’t see them often, but I am sure of their presence. the road lends itself to these hollows, with easy access either direction to and from chasing rabbits and gazelles and possums and don’t-know-any-betters.
the road is covered with evergreens on both sides so it doesn’t change with the seasons and adds to it’s appearance of permanance. you could call it idyllic but that makes you forget the danger that is always there, underneath the veneer and top coat of oil paint. i always try to respect the Fox Hollows, knowing that it’s just waiting for me to slip up.
so I do a lot of travelling to the same place, not far but far enough, from my home. I wake up early in the morning, get ready, and drive down so I can be on time and not be seen as a slacker. I don’t work there; i am a frequent guest. and I sometimes leave by afternoon, when the rest of the world only starts thinking about leaving. other times, I am with the rest of the world, my extra time meaning nothing except lost sleep. and then I start it all again the next day.
I’ve travelled this same long road in the dark, at sun’s rise, at noon’s rule and nap, and evening’s call and reign. it doesn’t change, just the people who play on it. its stability is a comfort to me on my ride, my other passenger being my music, which is ever changing. even though all the parts and places have been named before, I’ve given them my names as they appear to me. There’s the Three Sisters way stations, the Keep and the Bridge, the Fox Hollow, the Dawg Barrens, the Belle, and the Edge of Town. Each name has a place in reality and a place in my mind, and these are my stories about them.