94 West

There wasn’t time to really think about it.


I knew from experience that the moment I hesitated, motivation would evaporate. Like a lot of things seem to be doing these days. Despite my better intentions. And frankly, I’m growing pretty fucking tired of losing things.


So it was up and running and out the door. Pushing hard west on 94. Trying my best to beat the traffic. But getting beaten instead by the unexpected wind blustering over from the big lake.


That pinballing ride, powered by ballads, endless nicotine, and fermenting nostalgia, was worth the temporary discomfort of a white-knuckle grip. Because I could feel myself slipping. And choking on the unpalatable stench of a Capital City warming up to another season.  


Because it’s a strange place, that industrial scab of a city, sprawled out along a dirty river. It’s an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and populations, all hustling and bustling for position. All percolating under the watchful stacks that once belched out the condensed breath of Rust Belt exhalations.


And I’m still not quite sure where I fit in.


The City has a peculiar way of getting under your skin. But I guess that’s just another kind of pollution. The kind that poisons better motives; the kind that interferes and contaminates, often culminating in feet transformed into sedentary lead. And I feared the inevitable outcome of that interaction. Because I die a little every time I sit still.


So I instead mashed a lead-tainted foot atop a skinny pedal and pounced on the first fucking interstate I could find. The one ripping and winding its way west like a patched pavement scar. It seemed a reasonable enough direction—I’ve grown increasingly bored with the constant running north and south.


Despite the inherent threat of the anticipated speed traps, that modern game of fox and hounds, the collective decision seemed to be to push well past the posted limits. And that was exactly what I needed. Because it was the only way to blow away the blight.


I kept myself entertained for 175 miles by chasing the words spidering out inside my head. Down that hostile interstate I first chased, then later connected, literary dots. Had hypothetical conversations out loud. All while simultaneously dodging the Chicago-bound assholes swerving and merging into a great clusterfuck of mobile, oversized suburbia on the move.


I broke free of the herd, at exit 22B, right before the threat of being pulled into sludgefest of Gary. I had ideas in mind other than meddling in that complicated mess of urban decay. And the thought of breaking down in Indiana’s butthole wasn’t the least bit appealing.  


Instead, I was aiming for a gentle little oasis nestled in the woods of Porter County.  


Because I desperately needed proof that Michigan was behind my tires—the Mitten appears more palatable in a rearview mirror. Even if part of the price was coping with the hilarity of an unnecessary time change. Because that little corner of the Hoosier State insists on being just a little extra weird. But even that worked out—the digital clock in the car was back to being temporarily correct.


It is no surprise that time was misbehaving. I was burning through the last of a much needed vacation in spectacularly ridiculous fashion. And admittedly, Indiana wasn’t my first choice. But at least it was just the tip. And would mean that the things from which I was running would be left, at least temporarily, in a different state.


Because there has been too much clutter; too much static. Too much fucking indecision. And all the while time keeps running out.


Here today. Or four days. Then back to the same old thing. Old conversations in new coffee shops. New typewriters telling old tales. Sharing ghost stories with a mirror. Abandonment after atonement; cacotopia after confession.


There was a lot to unpack. And not just the writing kit I had brought with me in anticipation of finding something meaningful on the page.


There was that text. And those lingering questions. The real meaning behind a final note and not the fictional one. Figuring out intentions. And exit strategies. Directions. All while trying to not get too hotel drunk. Because then I wouldn’t be able to perform.


And that would make me just another disappointment.




Because there have been many moments of disasterous results. The ugly collateral damage of living a life forever in pursuit of the ridiculous for no other reason than it makes for more interesting stories.


It was an unbalanced bargain with the Devil I entered into with no forethought as to what that agreement demanded in exchange—a trusting nature which far too often gets taken for granted; a heart worn on a sleeve forever dirty and unmended. Existing, exposed and vulnerable. The embodiment of fragility hidden behind the fashionable armour of a thrift store leather jacket.


I am about as polished and as smooth as a Michigan road; I have yet to truly learn my lessons.


I keep my fingers on that hot stove when not busy looking for women bears to poke.


The memories of cliffs jumped linger; I’ve taken more than my share of hits falls.


The ghosts of those mistakes followed me across state lines; my miscalculation was allowing myself time to sit still.


It makes me think I should have pushed into Indiana’s butthole after all.

About Typewriter Fox

...author, fighter, lover, typewriter fanatic, and unrepentant Fenian bastard. Known to few, hated by many, but still typing the good fight.

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