Friday, February 11, 2011

Omaha

For reasons not completely clear even all these years later I rush from somewhere in the far west via Greyhound Bus (yes, Greyhound Bus) toward Chicago where I will meet my father but seventy miles short of Omaha a blizzard begins and an hour later this bus is stuck in the snow on Interstate 80 next to a Coca-Cola truck whose driver offloads huge quantities of his product to us as gifts just before the bottles and even cans start to explode in the vacuum of Midwestern winter cold, we fall into darkness and maybe even sleep wrapped in white flakes rushing past the faint odor of diesel exhaust and the soft pops of thousands of carbonated beverage packagings failing. In the morning a National Guard tank pulls us to a cleared spot on the highway and we proceed in slow parade to the Omaha Bus Station the grimy art deco space we should all have expected which is filled with refugees from the precipitation which is at least four feet deep there is not much to do there but food seems plentiful and prices through midwestern politeness have remained in check and I have enough cigarettes and probably enough joints and meet a woman who claims to be from Walla-Walla though this may be a verbal disguise who criticizes my cigarette choices, suspects me of being a junkie, drinks some of the Coke I have stockpiled and has sex with me three times in a small office the door of which I "credit card" (actually my driver's license) before the road is declared open and I begin moving east again. In Chicago I am sure my dad has pneumonia and he is sure this is not true but I make him drink much cough syrup with decongestant as I drive his car straight through to New York in one shot so he will be home, arriving at the George Washington Bridge at sunrise on a forgotten morning when I was still a kid.

copyright 2004-2011 by Ira David Socol

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