Monday, March 06, 2006

The Day After...

...found me peering out into the flat Kansas plain, wondering what I was doing here. My brother-in-law suggested we take a look at the house next door. The landlord (who also ran the implement dealership) owned most of the town; in one house, which was not currently occupied, he had the entire stock of clothes from a pawnshop that he had liquidated. I never thought that pawnshops had much in the way of attire, but evidently not in in the late 60's Kansas. He let us in, and there- in every room, stacked in piles about four feet high- were clothes of every possible style. "See anything you like, make me an offer" he smiled. I did find a "Japan" embroidered jacket that must have been traded for cash by some returning G.I. That was all I could afford- I wish that I had access to it now, you could furnish a dozen retro boutiques with that stash!

Later on, we drove around the countryside, seeing far more abandonded farms than active ones, and the late November overcast made the scene even more bleak than it was in reality. That night, I took off alone, on foot. As I continued to walk down the country road, away from the yardlight in the farmyard, the darkness ahead was absolute.

Finally, all light was gone- with only the texture of the gravel indicating the road beneath my feet. I became aware of my interal monologue. What was in the dark? I had read Capote's In Cold Blood but that kind of crime although Kansas-based, seemed unlikely. A wild animal? Maybe a coyote, but they usually stay away from humans. Perhaps I would fall on some hidden culvert, roll down in the ditch, be covered with mud and die here, a premature burial by chance. I went back, and told no one of my morbid musings.

By Professor Batty


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