Chapter 23: Notes From The Road (NE to IL)

August 10, 2011

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[American Analog Set – “Gone To Earth” MP3]

“I’m between Galena, Illinois and Rockford. Where the Peaches played. Is that the second A League Of Their Own reference I’ve made this summer? Yikes. I spent last evening and the first part of today with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jeffrey. Uh… They fed me a lot. A lot, a lot. I think they could tell I’ve been starving myself. From here it’s…about…it should be about three and a half hours to Chicago. The house in Galena has always been a comfortable and enjoyable place for me to stay. I remember when I was maybe thirteen or fourteen I flew out to Chicago and uh, drove up to Galena with Jeffrey and we stayed there for maybe three or four days, I think? We played golf and drove to Dubuque to see a movie. It was a little summer vacation, the first time I ever traveled alone. So it’s only fitting I stopped by on this trip as well, the longest solo trip I’ve ever taken. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, anyway. So I drove to Galena with my uncle and then we drove back to Chicago, where I flew home by myself to New Jersey. Um, and I always stay in William’s old room in Galena. My cousin, William. The room reminds me a lot of the room that I grew up in at my father’s house. The wallpaper is um, white with a blue crisscrossing pattern making little squares, which is what my wallpaper was. And I remember that summer that I stayed there when I was younger, sleeping with the window open and being nervous that a crazed mountain man, a madman, would come through the window and kill me. I don’t know why, but it was definitely something that I thought about when I was sleeping there when I was little. I guess because it’s so isolated, it’s a tiny town on the border of Illinois and Iowa. I’m used to more hustle and bustle. Plus I’m racist against crazed mountain men, because they only live in and terrorize places like Galena. I remember once when I was maybe five or six years old my family went out there for Thanksgiving. Uh, William was still in high school or college at that point, and I stayed in his room with him. That was when I was really young, and I was still waking up at, you know, five or six in the morning. And, uh, my mom told me not to wake Will in the morning or I would be in big trouble. Whatever I did to keep myself busy at five in the morning, I was not to wake up Will. I woke Will by accident when I was sneaking back into the room to look at a coupon book for a toy store. I felt really bad about it when I saw his eyes open. The house is kind of uh, it’s at the end of a cul de sac a little bit off the road down on a hillside. Um, in the barrenness of… I guess it’s not barren, but… very wooded and rustic. You know, like a cabin home in the middle of the woods. It’s very peaceful. The din of insects at night is loud enough to filter through the entire house. In the latter half of the 1800s Galena was actually a bigger city in Illinois than Chicago because it was a hub on the Mississippi River. It was a huge lead mining city. There are still lead mines there. Galena supplied most of the lead to the army during the Civil War. Then when railroads were built to connect cities, the routes went through Chicago. Chicago, of course, became Chicago. Galena, downtown at least, or an area of downtown, um, is still right on the Mississippi and there are floodgates at the lower end of the town to prevent the area from flooding. There are still old-style houses from the 1800s that have been either, you know, restored or kept in the same condition. President Grant lived there for a very brief period of time. The town built him a house when he returned from the Civil War, and he only stayed their for a few days. It’s still a historical site though. And then on the other side of the Mississippi is Dubuque. Iowa for a… (phone rings) Shit. So yeah, for a very long time, Iowa was considered a dry state. And East Dubuque was a very lascivious area with lots of liquor stores and prostitutes and whatnot. Driving, you know, to that area now, you still see lots of liquor stores, but no prostitutes wearing… you know, girdles or whatever Victorian dresses or… corsets? None of that. It’s disappointing. I’d like to see more old-fashioned whores when I’m in rural parts of the country. Not old whores, just old-fashioned. Dressing in that Victorian garb or whatever they wore when they were doing lots of fucking for money. So yeah, I’m about one hundred and fifty miles from Chicago. I’m excited for the next interviews. I barely noticed driving through Iowa because I spent the entire state on the phone with Apple tech support, resetting PRAM and NVRAM to see if I could save the computer. I wasn’t even watching the road. I was driving with my knees. The only thing that could have made the drive through Iowa more unsafe would be if I was drunk.”

1 comment

  1. |

    Mon Dieu! C’est cette merde toujours en cours?

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