GREENSBORO, NC - I stepped out of the truck and the air smelled so familiar, bittersweet, all Southern springtime blooms and diesel fumes. Tomorrow I start the trek back out west, to Arizona, the whole way on I-40, starting the day by passing through Statesville, which I'm sure will make me twitch a whole lot.
I'm making slow, painful progress with my shifting and driving. But feeling better, overall. Getting to see Sara in Atlanta yesterday was wonderful, just to talk face to face with someone who knows me and could give me a real reminder of what I'm doing out here.
Don't have a lot of time right now, internet connection sucks, computer's almost out of juice and no place to plug it in, but here's something from journal scribbles a couple nights ago:
I found Kerouac's Sad American Night in a truck stop in southern Georgia, my body stiff and tired from driving 10 hours. Sound came at me as if underwater, the hum of diesel engines past midnight in the soft Southern darkness. Faint music came from the all night shop, where mechanic boys with dirty hands smoked cigarettes. The grimy restaurant was like walking into an Edward Hopper painting, everything moving slowly and lights flickering.
The night before, I dreamed my love and I were walking in an autumnal forest in evening. His face shone like gold in the dying light. I awoke in a moving truck, and my eyes instantly burned from the realization of the light years and so many regrets away from him.
I found the Sad American Night, and it was just as Jack said it would be: quiet and mournful, only accessible through heartache and lack of sleep and feeling like a tumbleweed along these roads. I found it, and immediately realized it was not a destination, but an unfortunate way station for those who've lost their way.