“Er, I’ll take the right and the left, please. Oh, and the bottom, too, if you think it’s appropriate.”
Sorry, I’ve always wanted to say something like that, but once again I just couldn’t pluck up the nerve to say it to today’s stony-faced Kentucky Fried Chicken employee. Especially as he was about to interrogate me on whether I wanted white or dark, my coating classic, grilled or flambeed, and exactly which Pantone shade I wanted it coloured. “Look, just put some protein and lots of greasy fat on a plate and we’ll call it chicken, shall we?”
I set out into a different world today. Yesterday was hot, sunny and arid; this morning I drove under gloomy skies, through lush vegetation and over creeks that actually had water in them. I’d assumed that Junction, Texas, was named after a road or rail junction, but maybe it’s a junction between two universes.
Uh-oh. Rocking chairs on porches, black people in menial positions, humidity, pickups and Paul’s Epistle to the Romans… I’ve a horrible feeling this parallel universe I’ve just entered is called the Deep South.
The gloom has overtaken me today. I’ve had enough now. I want to go home. I want to unpack my bags, put my feet up, know where things are and find my own hairs in the sink. I want to take my eye off the road and sit on a chair, not a bed. I want appliances and tools and books and boundaries. I want to eat real food and not have someone shout “Housekeeping” in a Spanish accent every time I’m about to take a shower.
Oh, no, wait. I don’t have a home to go to. That’s right, I forgot.
All my world is contained in this laptop. All my photos and important documents. All my friends are in there too. I don’t know what I’d do if it broke or got stolen. Imagine what it must be like when you feel that way about the contents of a plastic carrier bag. Being rootless is a lot more unnerving than I would have guessed. I’m glad I found that out, but I want it to stop.
Ah well. I think it’s probably time to stop updating this blog, at least. I’m on I-10 now, which just plummets in a straight line towards Baton Rouge. I’m so dreading going back to Louisiana that I wouldn’t pay any attention to the scenery even if there was any, and so I don’t really have anything left to talk about.
I’ve booked the car in to be fixed on Monday, so until then I’ll just be lurking somewhere far enough away that my wife isn’t likely to bump into me and be embarrassed. And immediately after that I need to be heading for a new life, either by plane or rental truck. I just wish I could make up my mind where that new life should be. I’ll let people know once I’ve sorted things out. It’s all just practical stuff from here on.
Anyway, I just want to say a HUGE, HUGE THANK YOU to all my friends and my family for being so supportive and encouraging over the past few weeks. This blog has been my lifeline to you and it has really made a big difference for me. I’m ever so glad I wrote it. Thanks for tuning in.