I'm not sure what time it was when I woke up. The sun had not been up long. I had had some trouble falling asleep. Stress, don't you know. Over the state of my little computer. It's bound to affect my health. And will be fully explored when this goes to court. Keep one eye on the legal journals. For James v. The Samsung Corporation, Which As Everyone Knows, Sucks.
It was fairly warm but windy. A deer was kazooing nearby. Or a hunter who was trying to sound like a deer. I wore my yellow hat packing up. And my bright orange hunting vest. One so dislikes to take chances. I really don't want to get myself shot before I reach Florida.
Then it won't really matter so much. How can you talk that way? I tell you, it's all about poetry. This story needs a conclusion. I limp into Miami and then I go home? That will not do at all. I need to Fall in Love or be Born Again or Felled by a Hunter's Bullet. Drama is what this adventure's been lacking. I'm only thinking of you.
I'll try to linger long enough to type up that final scene. And I'll forgive my murderer, but never the Samsung Corp. Because they suck. They should admit as much in all their advertising. We are Samsung, they could say, and we suck.
I had an eight mile hike to Baldwyn, Mississippi, population God-knows-what. Not so very many dozens. It is a fairly small town. But I was glad to be there. I was starving to death, or at least to grumpiness. And was much looking forward to my biscuits and gravy and eggs and sausage and toast. And hash browns. And pie, of course. I think good nutrition is key.
"Not on Sunday," said a grumpy old man when I asked if there were anywhere to eat. I asked several other people as well. The answer was always the same. I knew it would be; I just wanted to hear them say it. I liked how they looked at me. As if I were the Devil himself for even suggesting such a thing.
It left me with a bitter choice. The next town was ten miles off. Or I could head back north a bit and join the big highway. I took that option. A boy's got to keep fed. Otherwise a boy can get cranky.
At the highway I was spoiled for choice. McDonald's, a gas station, or Subway. Mooshy burgers or breakfast burritos or, God help us, Subway. I went to the gas station first. There was nowhere to plug in. So I tried McDonald's but that was no good, so now here I am. Subway is the Samsung of the American sandwich industry.
It has blossomed into a beautiful day. It was cloudy this morning. Cloudy in layers of latticework with blue sky filling the gaps. It gave the heavens depth and dimension. It did too threaten to rain. So I'm glad to see the plain old blue sky, even if it is less interesting.
From here I'm back on 45, having backtracked a bit. Which is fine; I have to be careful to stop short of Tupelo. Which is too big to invite tent camping. I'll walk into there in the morning. If I haven't been shot, skinned and tanned, and made into moccasins.
It was somewhere in the seventies but it never felt that warm. There were cooling breezes of 20 mph or so. Headwinds. They're almost always headwinds, no matter which way I point.
But I wasn't complaining. I was enjoying my walk. A little extra challenge made it fun. There are times that I would jog if I didn't have to carry my pack. But the road itself was not very good. There was a shoulder of sharp gravel. Which after some miles turned into soft grass. Which is harder to walk on still.
I abandoned the highway at a place called Guntown and hiked back to 145. It's a smaller road with no shoulder at all, but there are not many cars. A few mean dogs but that's about it. The trick is to be meaner still.
I cannot tell you much about Guntown. A thousand people live there. Which would make it a force in northern Nebraska, but it isn't very much here. I do not know why it's called Guntown. Something about guns, I'd guess. Its specialties are muffler repair and what looked like project housing.
Fairly nice project housing, as project housing goes. Everyone waved at me.
I stayed only long enough to wave back and then I continued south. Over a few blind hills but it wasn't so bad. There was a lot less wind back there. And the walking came easy; my mind was busy thinking about other things. Like how very pointless Life seems to be and how tired of it I am. And about the corrupting nature of lonesomehood. And just what it means to be me.
You know, that kind of shit.
I did eventually make it to Saltillo, which has maybe three thousand people. And is where Elvis Presley's mother came from. I want to call her Gladys, but I might be wrong. I stopped at a Hardee's restaurant to suck down some calories.
My burger was peculiar if not altogether bad. It was I thought overpriced. You can get better burgers at a saloon for a dollar or two less. But worse, I had misjudged the time. I had to eat in a hurry. Now I am a fast eater at the best of times, but I like to set my own pace. I wound up making myself somewhat sick, a condition that yet persists.
But I had to walk on. I had maybe half an hour to find a place for my tent. And was not at all sure I was on the right road. Traffic was just awful. I had to walk in a muddy ditch to keep from getting sqooshed. Uneven ground is hard on my feet. Hardee's is hard on my guts.
In the end I had to make use of the Force. And my renowned hobo skills. I think I did alright. I am in a clump of trees on the edge of a field, too close to someone's backyard.
I don't think I'm going to get shot here. I will wear my hat and vest. At least tomorrow is a weekday. My murderer may be at work.
Tupelo is maybe two miles off. I had to stop where I did. It is a city of fifty thousand, if the rumors are correct. And it is where I will be most of tomorrow. I hope to hit the Elvis museum. Elvis was born in Tupelo. Tupelo's reputation is made.
It may rain tonight but it shouldn't be cold. It may rain and be hot tomorrow. Which is what you expect from Mississippi, a certain humidity. I'm not too far from Alabama. I can shoot over any time. But so far Mississipi's been good to me. I think I'll walk south for a while.
SAY IT with me. Tupelo. What a neat name for a town.
LAST NIGHT I pooped and buried it. While I slept someone dug it up. Weirdos.
I DON'T THINK I'll ever kill myself. There must be a dozen people I'd rather see dead.
NEWT GINGRICH? Jesus Christ.
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