Sunday, September 30, 2007

bent and twisted
the mountain, it kissed us

I never got around to having the holes in my shoes patched up, and it was raining. Puddles, saturated soil that brought on pools with every step, socks wicking up moisture, and I had to stamp out my cigarettes with my boot heels. We listened to Bob Dylan somewhere in Pennsylvania.

We regrouped at a gas station in Hagerstown, and the local girls plied DanLos with pasteurized tobacco. "Awsome," he said. "I could use a new addiction."

It didn't look much farther on the map. Fuck, straight west to the Ohio River. Off the Interstate and the fog set in quick. Clogged the state's veins. Soon the side roads shrunk and atrophied and died and collapsed in on themselves.

Jackson's the driver, and when she lit a cigarette, so did I. Good thing her eyes are bigger than the road. It's sinister. Laid out above America, and the smoke tumbles out the window. There's a literature anthology in the back seat, but it's dark, so I just run my fingers over the rice paper pages.

The road's practically impassable. Unsafe at any speed. Every song that comes out sounds like a prayer, or engine motion. Take me to the river! Wash me in the water! Maybe the government's tracking us by our cell phones. Gravity is stronger below the Mason/Dixon, and Dixon had nothing on us.

Jackson looks spring loaded, hair triggered, and the rest of the car is silent, save for the occasional ipod clicks. I was doubled over in sleep, knowing we're still hurtling around blind mountains, jerked awake constantly by sudden adrenaline movements. The river is still somewhere ahead.

We finally rolled into Grafton at 4 am, and there are lights at intersections, and a kid sitting outside a gas station open for business. We pull and and fall out of our cars, remembering the feeling of being objects at rest. The kid precedes us inside, and we blow in like the nor' Easterns we are. Soon there's gas station jerky, coffee, and sun glasses flying. Stirrers are up by the register.

"Hey, you ever taken route 50? I mean, all the way?"

"All the way from where?"


"What kind of fool you gotta be to take 50 all the way down here from Hagerstown to... where you all going?"

"Point Pleasant, West Virginia. For the Mothman Festival."


Grayson Bartlett said...

this is spectacular!

apotheosis said...

Stories! I demand an essay!