not sure what's 4 dinner
pick up a chicken?
all's fine - but it was hell of a lot of driving
did I pump own gas? what do u think?
Hello darling, back home after my jaunt. I'm feeling a whole lot better than I was a few hours ago when I sent that text message to D. In the meantime I took a long walk, lay down and tried to sleep but couldn't my heart was racing, but managed to rest anyway and felt better, then had a wonderful session with you, followed by a hot shower, fresh change of clothes, a spritz of perfume... Ah - I am feeling myself again. I had done so much driving both yesterday and today. I breakfasted on homemade pizza from home in the motel room this morning before I set off for the day around 8:30... and didn't end up having a proper lunch - I was craving a burger & fries - til I got to Hudson already. So that was pushing it, a bit. Sitting on a barstool at the cozy neighborhoody restaurant, I felt absurdly like an astronaut who'd been returned to earth from a sudden crazy orbit - I felt that plucked out of my element for a spell, and then back in it. The cozy pub was a gentle re-entry. The burger & fries hit the spot, as did the single glass of pinot noir, and all up and down the bar denizens were working on xeroxed copies of today's Sunday Times crossword puzzle - so there was very pleasant communal chat going on - to the effect of "17 down is Evolution" and a request to the barmaid for a sharper pencil - to which she obliged.
Darling - I am so sorry that my trying to schedule a self-publishing post for yesterday evening didn't happen - despite my best intentions. I hope you weren't too agitated or annoyed. I realize now what I did wrong - a silly glitch that if I'd thought it through better yesterday morning I should have reasoned out. (I should have "published" my post in advance of the future hour I wished for it to appear - rather than merely "saving" the draft, with that noted hour.)
And no - pumping my own gas didn't happen either. But lucky me, at the desolate gas station somewhere on Route 10 south of Northampton, a very kind gentleman helped out this ridiculously helpless, robust-looking, intelligent damsel in distress. I couldn't even unscrew the gas cap - but I must say, the guy had trouble with it too. And the whole configuration of the pump - I was stymied as to where the place the card (though I figured that much out after a moment) let alone what to do afterward -- Lift Handle -- what handle? do you mean the gas pump?
Hopeless, just hopeless.
Here's another thing - that made me think of 1.0. I should hope the landscape of the mind is in the mind indeed - because it seems that gas stations and convenience stores don't sell paper maps anymore. I needed a map of Massachusetts this morning. Actually, I could have used a map of the Commonwealth yesterday too - probably my trip would have been cut 30 or so miles shorter - but this morning, if I was to credibly attempt a visit to an art museum in nearby (this morning) Springfield - then I would need a map. I stopped at four different marts in search - and in each was surprised not only that they're no longer sold, but that clerks seemed surprised that I was even asking for one.
I am sure some huge loss attends to the loss of paper maps - I don't see how GPS (which our trusty 10-year old car doesn't have) can take their place. I like to see a map spread out before me, where I'm going, where I am, where I've been. But maybe in the way America's landscape (from what I observed in my drive from western to central Massachusetts) has changed [Darwinian term to describe abject state of relentlessly stripmalled Route 9 --- DEVOLUTION] -- maybe that's all part of it, that we're not supposed to have a sense of "place," and of "context," and of rolling topography. No - it's all about getting from one Wendy's to the next, Lowes after Lowes after Lowes, etc., etc.
Massachusetts is a state that at least in the abstract I have some fondness for, having gone to college there, spending a few years in the Boston area. It was dispiriting to me - especially as one who sought out, and obtained, a degree in urban planning, to see the abysmal state of the absolutely ruined paved-over hardscape of sheer horrible nothingness. One of the manifestations of the Big Lie of the slide America took, in its lurch into its precipitous consumerist economy and decline.
The motel was clean and serviceable - utterly charmless, of course. The room was devoid of charm - though I give it points for having wood hangers that I could actually remove from the bar so as to hang up my wool coat & scarf. I slept poorly. I had terrible nightmares, of a creepy, violent nature - with the sensation of palpable weight pressing down on me - unpleasantly so, malevolently - that I had to shake. The smoke alarm's light seemed to flicker in different places in one corner of the room. And yet it was just a stupid, concrete-slabbed place to crash for the night - built (as I noticed this morning, the year carved out in concrete) 1995. I'm not really complaining. It was a cheap place to crash - it provided the very most basic necessities I needed 100 (or 140) miles from home.
Also I didn't have internet, and the Bengali night clerk kindly let me check for my messages (that is, for me, page hits from you) on her motel computer. I sat in her chair at her incredibly cluttered desk (it was a mess! junk & stuff everywhere, I felt as though I was wading through stuff - what were the items? I couldn't tell you - I was just there a couple of minutes - and certainly I didn't wish to 'invade her space' anymore than I already had. But it was like a cubicle in a municipal office that perhaps someone has occupied for years and years, and has never once on a quiet afternoon, nothing else to do, set about to tidying, dusting)...
And that's it for now, my dearest love. This is the sideways entree into - tomorrow - writing about the main event -- the Trip to the Moon - that this astronaut took. For now though, just this debriefing... in the spirit of "start with where you are."
Oh, to get this traverly prologue out of the way, once I bailed out of Springfield (for lack of a map, wireless internet, or other internet), I found the most beautiful winding road back, Route 57 along the southerly border of Massachusetts, rural landscape lined for miles, here & there, with beautifully maintained New England saltbox houses... it was like a movie set...
Refreshingly beautiful and scenic, especially after the big box stores and decimated small-city neutron-bombed locales I passed through (such as Westfield - which I'd never even heard of -- and it's like a ghost town -- except that many people live there).
Route 57 was a vision, a dream... I really enjoyed the drive. But I didn't see anyone there, not along the fifty or so miles I drove. No sign of life at all, really, other than occasional vehicles on the road. I mean - I didn't see - lights on in houses, or cars in driveways -- oh yes, there was a glimpse of horses in a paddock, that was a sign of life --
Anyway - all there was perfection.
Thank you to the very sweet clerk - a very real person - at the motel last night, in the bleakest stretch of town - who graciously let me use her computer, and to the man this morning who helped me at the pump.
Darling --- all my love, missing you so much, so very happy to reconnect with you this way. xoxo
(I don't have the energy to proof this - so I'll launch it as is - though will save a draft first against crashing - many kisses again, sweetheart - )