Heading north we passed rivers on the verge of bursting their banks and I explained to Brock, "Last year an epic flood submerged Cedar Rapids, but it hasn't rained in days."
The radio weatherman had forecasted a pleasant day for Northern Iowa and Minnesota. I stepped on the gas. Everyone on I-380 was traveling ten miles over the speed limit. I kept pace at 85.
North of Cedar Rapids we got off the highway and twenty minutes later on a back road Brock spotted buffalo grazing on long prairie grass.
I braked the rented Ford in a parking lot of a small state park.
We approached the fence.
A state ranger was inspecting the wooly bison and told us, "They once roamed the Great Plains in the millions, but were reduced to 750 by 1890."
The small herd was fenced into a park and the ranger said, "This isn't a petting zoo, so I have to make sure no one thinks it is."
A good-sized buffalo weighed more than a ton. One came up to the fence and Brock touched its head. He passed me the film camera and said, "Keep me in focus. Barry's going to love this."
Brock and I ate a late breakfast of left-over ribs from Des Moines. They hadn't gone bad in the back seat and Brock put on a KC Royals baseball cap, which he had bought in that city two days ago.
"How many miles you think we've driven so far.
"Almost two thousand." Most of it had been on dirt roads cutting straight through the farmlands. Brock lived in London with his wife and two kids.
"If we drove two thousand miles from London, we'd be in Istanbul."
"Which probably doesn't look much like this."
"This is a big continent, especially from south to north." I dumped my gnawed ribs into the trash.
"Which is why I'm heading north with the Chicken Messiah." Brock wiped his hands on the back of his jeans. He was getting to be a real American.
"It's almost 5000 miles from London to Kabul." Brock couldn't get Afghanistan out of his head. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers felt the same. "Back in the 70s hippies drove to Kabul in school buses and vans. Next stop was Kathmandu and then Kuta in Bali."
"A long time ago and Iowa was never Kabul."
"Except with Rockford."
"And Barry's in Ibiza."
"My kids are in Thailand."
Like the Hare sculptures we were scattered across the globe far from home.
Corn was everywhere.
Brock shot everything.
"This will be Barry's last trip to America."
“You know I haven’t really looked at his sculptures.”
My daydreams were dominated by premonitions of seeing my son and daughter in the coming month. This driving job for Brock would pay for a ticket to Thailand.
“You shouldn’t look at anything.” Brock put down his camera. “You have to see or hear or feel Art. Open your mind to another dimension.”
“I’ll try.” We had one more Hare statue ahead and I gripped the wheel with both hands.