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7:15 PM

July 7, 00

Extreme Southern Iowa

I-35 4 hrs out

I am stale.

The road is pale brown but old, not smooth. Random bits of roadwork mar it, make the ride seem longer. Trees stand stationary, worshipping a dull orange sun I have developed a slow loathing for.

My body aches. My mind is sluggish and tasteless and gray. My eyes dull and my legs are passive w/ their want for use.

Barn, Barn, Barn, Field, Corn, Barn, Field of corn, Barn..

I live for the cool slow breeze of the city that doesn't lay down til' late.

I miss my unsophisticated south, w/ it's southern fried excitement.

Here, people do not live. They exist.

There is not one to pass us. No one to pass. No new face to look at, stare at, study.

The other lane drags lazily on. The road is unforgiving. And I'm am equally hateful. I will exist w/ it until I may live again.

My mind drifts, too dis-passionate to hate myself or love myself or find some greater meaning in what I do.

My binding reminds me I'm bound, leaves me feeling no less stale as the air-conditioning doesn't reach to me and it's not cool here.

We pass a van. The faces dull and empty. Tapes litter the dash, bad country or perhaps, most probably gospel. They will exist til' they can live again.

9 miles to Missouri.

Salvation still out of reach.

Silver car drifts past, squinting at us in the sun.

Bored, tired, lacking energy to smile or scowl, unable to like or dislike.

The other interstate vanishes behind the faithful, pious, worshipping trees.

I hate them and envy them.

My binder cuts into my shoulder...the air's shifted. Stale and cool now.


Hwy Junction 69 1 mile.

The road beats into me.

Exit 104

Blythdale and Eagleville


The car exits without incident.

No jar or dip as we get off.

The car slows tiredly, makes a slow right turn, speeds up, slows down, another right turn.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

The pump shelter brings unsettling relief. No help, just dull shade.

The door creaks when I push it open and finally, sensory tweaks within me...garbage, gas and wind-shield cleaner and sorid humidity.

My body stretches but feels no less unused.

Restless, sticky.

I make my way to the door and venture into stale coolness once more, almost delighted in my new found choices in bad food.

A plastic wrapper crackles under my hand, alive and dead. And I move soundlessy away, kidnapping it from it's cardboard-paper home.

Somehow I find myself at the counter, first in line because we are alone, the cashier and I.

I've unconsciously chosen Fig Newtons and Yoohoo...

It will leave a bad taste in my mouth. Stale and nasty like the rest of me.

The cashier looks me over unseeing.


I slide my five across w/ my middle and forefinger, my thumb slightly out.

He pauses and I look up. He is looking at my ring, it's smeared, rainbow enamel my only testiment to my pride.

He looks up and catches my eye, and I wait for his comment ready with my roledex of snappy comebacks.

Instead, his eyes drop back to my bill and he pulls it across to him, the drawer dinging as it registers my purchase.

In a second, I note his acne speckled face and bad haircut, the long blonde bangs falling close to his watery blue eyes. He has a slighty slack-jawed stupid expression.

Not really beautiful, but not unattractive at all.

"Nice ring."

It barely registers as I try to study his long, thin lips and boxer nose.

I think he is trying to be a 'tolerant' midwestern asshole until I catch his eyes.

He has said it low as if to hide something and I see a storm behind his eyes as he wishes it were him on the other side of the counter, the stranger infront of him about to continue on his journey to a more tolerant place.

He is like me, or so he thinks.

For a moment, he looks sad and angry at being in this place, alone and lonely.

He smiles again, open, almost flirtatious, happy to be in my company even if for only a few moments.

He hands me my change, his hand brushing mine, our eyes still holding the others, unseeing, imagining all the things we would do to each other for hours in mere seconds.

I smile my best, 'oh yeah, I'd fuck you' smile and we hold eachother one last moment w/o touching, w/o breathing.



8:19 PM

Just past the border of Missouri and Kansas.

He look away as the intruder begins to shuffle about and goes about his business.

I head for the door w/ my snack, and change and a little tingle in my hand.

I turn again, open the door w/ my back and he looks up like I willed him too.

I smile again-Yep, I would have fucked you.-

He smiles back,-Me too.-


8:35 PM 3hrs out.

July 7, 00

Somewhere in Northern Missouri.

The road is pale gray, but old, not smooth.

Random bits of road work mar it. Makes the ride seem longer.

The trees move together and congregate, seeimg to offer a cool smile. Their God is gone, they will no longer pay homage till the morning.

My body aches and my mind spins faster than my pin can keep up with.

There is a nasty tastless taste in my mouth as plastic and empty bottle roll at my passive-aggressive, restless feet.

I think to myself, 'He didn't know, will never know, I'll never see him again.'

But I'm too dis-passionate to hate or love myself, or to find some greater meaning in what I do.