now playing: jackson browne, “call it a loan”


in lieu of a lunch break today, i was asked to drive out to kutztown and pick up a laptop for use in the circuit board fabrication shop on a project they’ve taken on. i wasn’t unhappy about it, as my boss had already called to let me know that he was taking the rest of the afternoon off, and he’s really the only person to whom my unavailability would cause me any undue stress. so off i went.

i left at 2pm and got back about five minutes ago. traffic in kutztown was incredibly thick, for some reason, and it took me twenty minutes just to get from the LANtek building back to the highway. since things were so bogged down, i stopped into the kutztown democratic headquarters and picked up some extra stickers and lawn signs…while i was there i saw the most recent column by my soon-to-be adversary, clipped and lying on the desk. i had to smile a little, knowing that soon he’d have a foil across the page from him.

so i put my signs into the back of my trusty VW van and eased back out onto main street, remembering that jayda would be making this trip tomorrow herself, as she begins upward bound – weekend edition in earnest tomorrow.

i was waiting for the traffic at the light to start moving again, and this gorgeous geeky-hippie girl was walking up the sidewalk opposite me, wearing a purple bandana, baggy pants and thick-rimmed glasses…she had long brown hair and had obviously spent some time outdoors this summer – she was glowing.

i stuck my head out the already-rolled-down window of the van and said, “if you can get past the weirdness of my saying so, i think you look beautiful today.”

she smiled at me and said, “i like your van”.

i chuckled and said, “thanks, so do i on the days it starts.”

and then the traffic started moving, and so did i.

whenever i have to come back to work from that direction, there’s a specific road that i take to get back here. now i don’t know why – this doesn’t happen as often as it did when i used to drive four hours home from gigs in god-knows-where, but there are times when i’ll be driving and i’ll be so far gone to some other place in my head that it’s almost as if i’ve blacked out. i’m aware of my surroundings, and the fact that i’m operating a motor vehicle, but i settle into a daydream and i’ll just drive…without much thought as to where. this used to happen a lot – i’d wake up in the morning after coming home from a gig and would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that i came home a specific way, but would have no recollection of having passed certain landmarks on the way.

so, today, i’m driving along, windows down, and i come to a “T” in the road, and it strikes me that there are no “T” intersections in the road back to work…so i made a left and decided to make the best of it.

not far down the road, i ran right into the Adams Hotel – immortalized in the frog holler song, adams hotel road.

there at the mouth of the hotel Road
the adamses lived and the adamses sold
out to a deal, left out in the cold
the ghosts of the bar and the stories it told

i knew it was an actual place, but i’d never seen it before. yet, by God, there it was.

i kept driving around until i saw the lake that i knew to be just off route 61, and i kept it to my left as i drove back towards leesport – past the cemetary with fresh american flags on the tombstones, and the trailers with satellite dishes haphazardly tethered to the shoddy excuses for porches, until the road i was on eventually spit me out practically into the parking lot of the village tavern ( a stone road mainstay), right up the road from where i work.

i was actually hoping to have been a little more lost than it turned out i was…

…but it’s not as though i’m finished driving for the day.

bonus fact that may interest only me (with apologies to peter king):

dylan and i wore the exact same clothes today…khakis and a black polo shirt…but neither of us knew it until we walked out to the van to go to school this morning.

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