Sunday, July 1, 2012


my wife would doubtless argue the point--and there's some validity to her argument--but I like to think of myself as the neal cassady of my generation, both in my ability to drive just about anything I put my mind to (herein lies where she would argue) and my assertion that I was born to drive.  I am on my now-annual visit to my dad out in the thick of things, where the thickness has actually lessened it seems.  there is no one burning garbage nearby, and while the humidity is high and the heat the consistency of taffy, it is bearable.

my drive was good, having decided to put off my leaving until evening to take advantage of the coolness of night driving, and because there would be nothing to see at night, deciding to take the interstate system the full length of the way.  normally, I tick off in my head the pros and cons of each roadtrip I make, and on this one I jotted them down on a slip of paper in the final hours.

as usual, I have a number of pros and a single con, so I will get that out of the way.  the one minus is the abominable sweet potato frenchfries I "treated" myself to at a burger king at the commodore perry service station east of toledo, ohio.  they were a greasy, sublungate, shoestring-thin mass of unctousness that sat in my belly like a hot, hairy dog for hours.  I will not bother with them ever again.

the best part of my trip also involved food, and that was eating fistfuls of blackberries and raspberries that I had picked from the thorny vines around the house and garage in the days before leaving.  they were small but fat with juice and each squirt was deliriously delicious and my fingers looked bloody by the time I got here.  I drove leisurely although I also arrived a day earlier than I'd expected:  even using the interstate I planned to stop at a mall or library to nap and rest and so avoid using my air conditioning (I have an inbred dislike of using a/c, as it seems a rich man's thing), but midafternoon yesterday I decided it was too hot to stand on principle, and besides I saw a fellow whose car had a sign advertising his "rent a rambling naturalist" business who was using his, and decided it was elitist of me to refuse if he was doing it, and so I pushed on and arrived in pennsylvania a little under 25 hours after I'd left the rim.  I love the opportunity while driving to smoke and ruminate and listen to the radio, and while I've always had a soft spot for elton john's song "tiny dancer" (with which I have always associated ohio), hearing it no fewer than 4 times in less than 14 hours can try a man's soul.

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