The Road To New York: The Midwest


 

We walk into a brightly lit gas station in the middle of — well in the middle of nowhere — and the robust woman, perspirating behind the counter blurts out, “There are airplanes, ya know?” She’s adamant about it. She insists that, “there are trains too.” She wants so badly for my mom and I to travel across the country in anything but my bug-smashing vehicle with California plates. I can see it in her blank expression that she’s beside herself as to why we would ever attempt such a horrible passage. Everything about this woman screams “Get the f*!k out of here and do it as fast as you can!” To her defense, we will, but not in the light that she casts upon it.
This is the odd portion of a long road trip, one that allows you to think clearly and think often. It’s in the repetition of corn, wheat, then corn, then wheat, then cow, then wheat, then cow and on and on and on. The echoing of commodities and bovines rudely penned together makes for one long blur of a trance-like indulgence. There are little distractions in the way of thought.

 Not exactly what the farmers of 
old had in mind

The sun fades long ahead of us as the amber tones give way to blues and purple. The stars and the crickets (so many crickets) soothe the mind as we travel in what feels like long circles on a straight and endless road. Much like the deserts of the American West, this place is riddled with small forgotten towns as the speed limit drops ten miles per hour every few seconds. We finally grind to a dripping pace and see that time has left yet another place behind – as if they wanted us to feel the clutch of paralysis that took down every last place standing.

We look left and then right, each glimpse a rotten car collection half eaten by the earth or a gas station with a sign that reads $1.45 – a blatant and embarrassing time stamp of death stained into its feeble structure. It’s as if they want you to take notice of how quickly we are on this planet. I take notice. I feel lucky, but I feel homesick. The speed limit climbs to 35 miles per hour. Before we know it, It’s 55 and then 75. I click the cruise control button to 80 miles per hour and cruise on, murdering every insect in my path. The wheat fields swallow up our car and afford us scores of forever more uninhibited thought. 

 Disgusting, overcrowded, urine-soaked, cruel… my next American burger
As we approached the skeleton of the house, a giant white owl swooped our from the window and into the tree

True gold

This is what forever looks like
 Forgotten

 


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