Monday, 9 June 2008

09 June 2008

the impossible complexities of Chicago traffic I took a bus to Joliet, Illinois, went by the Joliet pen, and stationed myself just outside town, after a walk through its leafy rickety streets behind, pointed my way. All the way from New York to Joliet by bus in actuality, and I had about 20 dollars left. My first ride was a dynamite truck with a red flag, about thirty miles into the great green Illinois, the truckdriver pointing out the place where Route 6 that we were on intersected Route 66 before they both shot west for incredible distances. Along about three in the afternoon after an apple pie and ice cream in a roadside stand a woman stopped for me in a little coupe. I had a twinge of hardon joy as I ran after the car. But she was a middleaged woman, actually the mother of sons my age, and wanted somebody to help her drive to Iowa. I was all for it. Iowa! not so far from Denver, and once I got to Denver I could relax. She drove the first few hours; at one point insisted on visiting an old church somewhere, like as if we were tourists, and then I took over the wheel, and though I'm not much of a driver drove clear through the rest of Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, via Rock Island. And here for the first time in my life I saw my beloved Mississippi River---dry in the summer haze, lowwater, with its big rank smell that smells like the raw body of America itself because it washes it up. Rock Island----railroad tracks, shacks, small downtown section; and over the bridge to Davenport, same kind of town, all smelling of sawdust in the warm Midwest sun. Here the lady had to go on to her Iowa hometown by another route; and I got out. The sun was going down. I walked, after a few cold beers, to the edge of town, and it was a long walk. All the men were driving home from work...wearing railroad hats, baseball hats, all kinds of hats, just like afterwork in any town anywhere. One of them gave me a ride up the hill and left me at a lonely crossroads on the edge of the prairie. It was beautiful there. Across the street was a Motel, the first of the many motels I was to see in the west. The only cars that came by were farmer-cars, they gave me suspicious looks, they clanked along, the cows were coming home. Not a truck. A few cars zipped by. A hotrod kid came by with his scarf flying. The sun

1 comment:

Emily said...

the impossible complexities of Chicago traffic I took a bus to Joliet, Illinois, went by the Joliet pen, and stationed myself just outside town, after a walk through its leafy rickety streets behind, pointed my way. All the way from New York to Joliet by us in actuality, and I had about 20 dollars left. My first ride was a dynamite truck with a red flag, about thirty miles into the great green Illinois, the truckdriver pointing out the place where Route 6 that we were on intersected Route 66 before they both shot west for incredible distances. Along about three in the afternoon after an apple pie and ice cream in a roadside stand a woman stopped for me in a little coupe. I had a twinge of hardon joy as I ran after teh car. But she was a middleaged woman, actually the mother of sons my age, and wanted somebody to help her drive to Iowa. I was all for it. Iowa! not so far from Denver, and once I got to Denver I could relax. She drove the first few hours; at one point insisted on visiting an old church somewhere, like as if we were tourists, and then I took over the wheel, and though I'm not much of a driver drove clear through the rest of Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, via Rock Island. And here for the first time in my life I saw my beloved Mississippi River---dry in the summer haze, lowwater, with its big rank smell that smells like the raw body of America itself because it washes it up. Rock Island---railroad tracks, shacks, small downtown section; and over the bridge to Devenport, same kind of town, all smelling of sawdust in the warm Midwest sun. Here the lady had to go on to her Iowa hometown by another route; and I got out. The sun was going down. I walked, after a few cold beers, to the edge of town, and it was a long walk. All the men were driving home from work...wearing railroad hats, baseball hats, all kinds of hats, just like afterwork in any town anywhere. One of them gave me a ride up the hill and left me at a lonely crossroads on the edge of the prairie. It was beautiful there. Across the street was a Motel, the first of many motels I was to see in the west. The only cars that came by were farmer-cars, they gave me suspicious looks, they clanked along, the cows were coming home. Not a truck. A few cars zipped by. A hotrod kid came by with his scarf flying. The sun