What you like. . .

Hit the road. Down Dexter. Coming out of Rite Aid with my wellness cards and vestibule of good health and smoky breath.

Tailgated by some truck. And another truck and their on my ass.

And I see their plates through a misty fog. A frosty windshield.

I have found hell. The coldest part we know.

And lost as it takes me, through this chartreuse trees and snowy whites, a gray dirt and speckled fits under my tire.

And all of it, I'm revered and in resolution I pump the breaks, "I'm from the South. Hold up. Man. Firget it. Not so fast." And they pass by like speed-racers, flying by, step by step, inch by inch, mile by mile. . . I hold the speed limit shaking in my tennis shoes and winnowing ways. "Thos people have warm boots."

And it takes days and days to get the hick voices out of my head and my fathers wishes that I had a pair of snug boots, that some day I'll need to walk in. God, why don't I get a vacuum proof space suit with temperature gages and all. . .I mean I am as far north as a legal citizen of the US can be without hitting another country where the hippies took refuge during Nixon's reign.

And the snow either is there or not. Some days clear and just crusts of mud.

A handicap road. A cold road. A lonely pathetic end to nowhere. I am miserable and finding redemption and quaking vibrate alertness.

A long night of book learning and watching talk shows and listening to the pine hush me to sleep or awake, sometimes I don't know. Another group of lady bugs nestle in a row over the truss of my door, in the crack of the corner under the fluorescent sink bulb that lights my split pea meals.

And another day. And another ten thousand laid off families bundle up and play checkers, chess and maybe monopoly or wheel of fortune or read odd words from the dictionary like, Irately or Dynode or Presage or Augur or Insipid or Wishy-Washy or Tame or Swishy, Unexciting or Character or Sipid or Stirring or Alive. . .and they work on staying tough, real and ready to work and ready to work and ready to work.

And it goes on to old radio stations that play oldies from 1980's: endless amount of Fleetwood Mac and The Doors and maybe some trucking songs by Willie Nelson or Hank or some guy named Johnny. . . that truckers love when they munch on their Beef Sticks and Nico-gum and tall Bubba size coffee mugs with the steam and the smell of home in the nostrils and bivouacked brains.

And I throw my skinny ass in the driver seat and peddle back home, throw the slosh to read the electrifying story of The Barnhouse Effect and hope for a chaise long' and work on pronouncing long words and looking up an endless amount of knowledge that leads me to the next step.

And force to be with stuck. And there is the nice neighbor and social worker who loves to honk the horn twice. And then there is the off center Sabaths and cats that burp and the smell of cat liter and a few feline belches and sugary heavens masked as melted popcorn and peanut butter cups and. . .and too much sugar getcha nowhere.

"Go on by." I whisper to the tailgater in his beefy engine and his hogging road ideals and I make it home, to the warmth and perhaps some make it to the chortled room and thank God its not unroofed or filled with ice sickles or even a bivouacked without the campfire or with nothing but cold wolves howling and licking their thin lips and sharpening their long fangs.

For that would be the death of me.

Then, I'm at the grocery. BUD'S. And I remember dropping the big salmon can and the old lady snickering and I told her, "Oh, dear, Gravity." And she made a funny reply and I quivered back "I was trying to be funny." And stop at twenty four dollars and check out and thank the lady again and thank the lady again and thank the lady again and thank the lady again.