15 March 2012


Somewhere in Pennsylvania

Somewhere in Maryland

Somewhere in New Jersey

Twelve moves over 18 years. It never bothered me then and the flashbacks don't bother me today. A sudden remembrance of anonymous highways, gas stations and motels from over 40 years ago. Indexed as: Bliss to Sill. Sill to Bragg. Monroe to Carson...

Ft Monroe to Ft Carson:
A diner waitress in New Mexico. Her simple beauty known only to me. She smiled a special smile at me. I was sure. In her butterscotch uniform and white apron. I was 15.

Ft Bliss to Ft Sill: Small homes on a flat red dusk with their dark insides lit only by blue television light. At seven, I wondered who the people were that watched TV together in the dark.

Ft Carson to Florida retirement: Only two months of high school before I graduate. I thought the Panhandle was America's stretch of ass compared to the West. I kept count of dead armadillos on the highway and wondered what the people thought of us as we drove by their orange stands, body shops and car dealers.

I still do. A 6AM train from NYC to DC. I wonder what it's like to be someplace I'm passing through. The back of scrap yards, body shops and car dealers. Back to NYC on a 7PM train, and night shows me inside TV lit apartments with snipped pictures of bookshelves, green ferns and posters belonging to Philadelphia, Trenton and Newark.

Not much has changed.


One Last Year said...

I was on a train going from New Have, CT to Wilmington DE. I sat with a guy who used to sell services to multiple textile factories in North Philly. Hearing him talk about how they used to be buzzing with workers while looking at the spray painted abandoned buildings was quite surreal.

Love the post.

Cathleen said...

Still sighing . . . great post.

Ben said...

I remember doing the train ride from DC to NYC to Albany a couple times to visit my GF. I peered into those same windows through PA, NJ, and NY, I think.

OMG, I bet they haven't changed.

TRVS said...

18 moves over 11 years...at 6 yrs old it was sheer terror, by the time I turned 17 I stopped counting...I was in love and thought I was going to finally settle down...then I said "no"...gypsy blood is hard to extract. He didn't get it.

Alice Olive said...

Great post. Love the first image, especially.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder where, and who, you're going home to when I watch the DC to NYC train tear past my little Boston Whaler as it crosses the bridge over the Bush River in MD.