You’ve got to leave I-75. You’ve got to get away. Leave the highway and every single bit related to it. When you’re done and out, you’ve got to drive south. As long as it gets it out of your mind, out of your system. That’s what I do at least.
Far from the madding crowds, loose among the elderly but satisfied ad icons of post-industrial society. And a tape on the player.
Shine, shine, a roosevelt dime
All the way to baltimore and running out of time
Salvation army seemed to wind up in the hole
They all went to heaven in a little row boat
Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands”
You know the ocean is near. But it’s hot. Tar is melting on the highway, and the heat is condensed in your nostrils, on your deck, near your computer screen.
Steven Hutt is putting nearby. Your eyes wander the 8th hole where he buried you last time though he has lived twice as many years. His old age is not compatible with your desires. You want a beer so bad, you’ve got to leave again.
But not on I-75. You got on a side state road. Where none of the fauna resembles your home state Ohio. You drive.
“Clap hands, clap hands, clap hands, clap hands”
Heat is soaking from the branches. A stink layers around your head. Did you hit a skunk? No skunks in this road. No roadkill. Only memories and music.
Memories of the past you’re running from. The routine of impossible dreams. Gifts not purchased. Not given, nor taken. Gifts sizzling from your past both real and imaginary. You see an Indian drifter. You take him in. You share your lunch, your dreams, your past. He gives you his spirit. Two people don’t add up. You drive…
When I am fed up with barbarism, I travel to Florida. I find my soul in the depths of Everglades. I find my soul among the crocodile faces of Key Westerns. I drink at Sloppy Joe’s, I parade Duval Street in drag. Trembling down the alleys of a long lost imagination, living among lost souls in my hometown, I am not myself. I’m an outsider at an outsider planet.