Wednesday, October 22, 2014

REST STOP by P Nolan Smith

On Saturday I traveled north from New York on a Chinese bus.

Greyhound really.

They charge $25.

7am departure.

I fell asleep on the Williamsburg Bridge and woke in the Storrs Hills on Connecticut

The driver was pulling into Burger King.

"Ten minutes."

I walked inside. Mickie D's rival was offering a breakfast burrito. I opted to eat the two bananas in my bag.

The other passengers were stuffing down fast food. The feeding fest was an ugly spectacle and I climbed over the barrier to a closed road. A land mover was parked on the asphalt. No one had sat in it recently. The only work in this town was at Burger King. Too many rich people. Too few jobs, but I had one for the first time since March.

New England had been scrapped to the stone bone by the Ice Age. Bogs and ponds and lakes are tattoos of that primordial time. Wetland in the autumn. The sound of cars and trucks on the interstate. The air was cool. Summer was one week back and nine months forward. I felt drops of rain.

The leaves were dull under the overcast. I breathed the air. The damp rot of vegetation was a black hole. In my youth I smelled this scent every October. It was Eau de New England.

I turned around to face north. The clouds parted for several heartbeats and I hurried across the cracked pavement to snap a photo.

This moment was only one.

There have been millions of seconds sliced into billions and trillions.

But only one of these.

The bus was ready to go

The North waited for me.

With patience.

Friends and family too.

I ran back to the bus.

It was good to be back in ageless autumn.

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