What I Did on My Summer Vacation, 1979
12 states, 2,000 miles. First, I took a driveaway service
car, that broke down near Terre Haute, tattooing a red
puddle of transmission fluid on I-70. Spent that night
in a gas station parking lot, curled up freezing in the
back seat. Then I hitched to Ohio, passed the Indianapolis
500, the Goodyear blimp lapping above the red bricks.
A few days later, stuck in a semi inching through the
Windy City. White CB users spewing racist epithets.
Trucker with a sheepish grin, shrugs his broad shoulders,
“Sounds like Chicago.” That night I spent in the Miller
Brewery in Milwaukee, free beer in the breakroom.
12 states, 2,000 miles. A few days later I was driving all
night with three Austrian college students from Minneapolis,
who for some odd reason were just crazy about popcorn.
Then crossed Missouri with four good ol' boy electricians
from Alabama, Jim Beam drunk as skunks, belting out
“Tuesday's Gone.” Just lucky I didn't end up dead or deaf.
12 states, 2,000 miles.Then when no one would pick me
up in Alamogordo, caught a Greyhound through New Mexico.
Then from Albuquerque, I took a 12-seat Cessna that barely
scraped over the Sandias.The woman next to me, her fingernails
digging into my arm, blurted, as lightning flashed and the
plane rocked back and forth, “Sure as shit, we're all gonna die.”