May. 31st, 2009

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Wyoming
Originally uploaded by Corprew / Zeitgeist.
The road ahead is long, but the trail behind is longer. I am currently more or less here. This is towards the middle of the second day of travel, the first of which took me to the UT/ID border and the next which started in Hays, Kansas and took me to the glorious residence of Herr Doktor Strobe.

It is, as you might guess from the snow on the ground, cold.

One of the weird historical accidents of my upbringing is that any place name that would be accessible to a child younger than 12 or so usually is pronounced with a strongish long island accent. This is particularly true with words that sound like 'Utah,' which is pronounced with the same terminal sound as 'Wantaugh' or 'Patchogue.' This causes great hilarity and confusion amongst the Utahns I encounter, because this varies wildly from their conception of place name.

But as of place and names, I am on my way to Flipside, the Austin Regional burn, and I will be traveling there for a while. History is strange, and fate is fickle, as the person who invited me there initially is as trustworthy as any Empimenides. So, friends have changed, roles have changed, identities have changed, and still Flipside remains a good time and worth going to.

But we're not there yet. We have, really, not even begun.

coda: One of the weirdest things to me about my involvement in Burning Man is actualization. There are three things that are being built on playa this year because of more or less offhand suggestions on my part that they would be good things. This is fairly suprising, not because my ideas are bad, because generally they're pretty good, but because it's always pleasing when people decide that your ideas are worth building out in a physical environment.

The truck I'm driving is about 90% of the size of my truck, and therefore about 81% as pleasant to drive. It is, however, brand new and therefore has the swoopy features that mine lacks.

Meaning, you see, is disjunct from sounds or the form of words. The purpose of these roadtrips is to think about projects and life and get away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday and just experience mile after mile of relaxing terrain. It's like meditation, but rather than mahayana you just get the yāna, and yourself, and the road.

peaceful, mile on mile unfolds. the windmills, the river valleys, the streams, and then night. the coming forth by day. the great boat that sails overhead.

Idaho has what is essentially a cowshit duststorm. This is foul, and with 50-70 mph gusts, it's vaguely eschatological. The end times, or at least the times of what comes out of the end of a cow are flying by quickly. I'm in a truckstop in Idaho and there's a church group also in this vile, abandoned place and we're trying to wash cowshit dust off the windshield but it's an essentially Sisyphean task.

Or perhaps in this case more Tantalic because as you mind imagine the cowshit dust storm is a polluter of water and food. But now it's construction time and we're moving slowly through Idaho, rolling round and round like a mashed potato. It doesn't smell like cowshit anymore, but it is late, and all must sleep whether here or seattle or austin or portland or dallas or near el paso.
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The road the sky
Originally uploaded by Corprew / Zeitgeist.
Five hours from now in a Kansas truckstop, the guy from American Gothic will jump when the wind whips the door out of his hand and slams it into the doorjam. We are not in a jam but it is lound and startling.

One hour ago it was safe to eat baked potatoes again, being out of Ireland and references to Odysseus, so I sat eating a baked potato at the welcome to colorado stop. A welcoming place, colorado and full of many excellent protuberances that you can see front ranging around no matter where you go. But now I am in a land accursed of omeletes preconsidered.

Nine days ago I'm in Salt Lake and my wire-honed NYC instincts are taking over in traffic, but now is the start of the rush hour, the time between now and then when what matters is speed. Because of the nature of the vehicle (something borrowed, something blue, something new) no trading of the laws of the road for physics is possible. It's 5 over, my friend, 5 over unless the orange flag flies and then we slow for the respect of the quick and the dead.

Kansas is flat and the motels are thinly spaced. You can't get there from here. but in a straight line from there you'll meet a straight line to there. The rest stations are laid out funny, and the farm report is on the radio, more than three bullets is too much for a kill and if you till, you dig out your ditches.

If you don't till but sew you reap and do not dig. Or at least the digging is just a casual tractoring around and not fit for the burying of the dead. Irony dies here or at least falls flat as everything else.

but it rises on the edges like a pizza. specifically in this case a vegetable pizza with occasional pre-sausage motile units. as you might expect, though, the crust is made out of wheat.

aunty em, aunty em, where is that dog it has gone all awhirl but with coffee we will triumph Hays Hays we are stopping and austin tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

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