Oct 11

Destination Durham Via Pedukah, KY

The acute pang of what could easily be interpreted as failure is by far more triumphant (in fodder if nothing else) than the grinding sisyphean task of managing a scared pit bull at rest stop, after strip mall, after florescent-gas-station-over-hang….and so-on across a gauntly jaundiced and unyielding USA. That is to say that, after Harvey-Sue lashed out at lovely boy in Asheville and again at a lovely girl in Nasheville; after he crouched to the ground and refused to pass by a cleaning cart outside of a hotel in Cadiz KY; after I’d taken him to a vet behind the Cracker Barrel and got him some sedatives (which did nothing but make his nervous pacing from front seat to back impossibly titubent so that he catapulted the water bowl into my lap more than once); after he peed into my messenger bag and would only look at me pleadingly and afraid; and finally, after I realized I’d dropped my new green Converse out of the van back in TN, and now had but one shoe…..I decided to stop in Pedukah, KY amidst silent soy bean fields to make a decision.


I sat at a picnic table, and as I racked my surroundings for some sign of what to do, I was joined by a Pedukian named Michael who started smoking cigarette butts off the ground. I thought he would surely hold the answer, but he hardly said anything.  To the final question, “So should I keep going or go home?” he just let a half chuckle and squinted towards the road.  The only thing he asked me was if I needed money and I said no, (but not “thank you” because I didn’t want to assume he was offering). There was a buzzard circling over our heads and Mike said, “so, guitar?” and I said “Sometimes.” and then, “I think I better go home.”

The rest was easy. There is a great sweeping relief  in surrender when such efforts have been put forth to fight the defeat. So in giving in, Harvey and I made peace and he slept, and the sunset was stark and I drove fast. When I crossed over Nasheville I decided to look for the field where we had stopped the day before, marked with another old race track, so that I might find my new green shoe. I doubled around and exited off the freeway. I pulled over and untangled myself from chords and gps lady (“rerouting. rerouting. rerouting. make u-turn. rerouting. you’re going the wrong fucking way. rerouting. u-turn.”) I got out, …..and lo and behold, in the nearly dusk, I saw….no shoe. I glimpsed around on the fences, like maybe someone would have perched it atop a post like they might a little deer skull.  Nothing was there….. and we were on the perfect path.

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