Friday, November 11, 2011

Day One-Hundred-Sixty-Eight, Voodoo

I am happy to be back in the woods. It will be plenty cold tonight. But no colder than it has been before. And not as cold as last night. Around one I walked to the Coke machine and bought a Dr. Pepper. I was very glad to get back to my room. I believe I made the right decision.

I didn't get much sleep of course. Indoors I never do. I was up all night monkeying with my computer and watching cable TV. I did too some light sewing. I think I am getting the knack. And I taped and tied my backpack up. And I did get some laundry done.

My one objection to sleeping indoors was that I was not too too worn out. I was a bit stinky but I've been worse. My legs were fairly strong. I just didn't want to freeze to death. Not even nearly so. And I tell you what, if it gets cold again, I'm moving back indoors.

Tonight it'll be a balmy thirty-three. I can live with that. And I think there's a gas station just up the road where I can get some coffee. Which is vital when my tent starts to look like the Fortress of Solitude. Not so much to drink but rather to wrap my hands around.

I walked a bit around Corinth yesterday, looking for the laundromat. There are some pretty old houses and not unfriendly dogs. They have a nice library. And tree-lined streets, often with sidewalks. Everyone says hello. Except one pretty girl. I said hello to her. She walked on without speaking.

Which is her right; her duty, perhaps. I was not the least bit offended. You get used to loneliness. Hell, it's what fuels my art.

Eleven o'clock is check-out time. If it's ten I make them push it back an hour. If I'm going to waste money on luxuries I want my full portion. I had planned to walk south straight out of town but by then I needed feeding. I crossed the street to the Corner Cafe. It was my second time there.

And so I was greeted like an old friend. Gosh, they were nice to me there. I had the hamburger steak and "fried taters" and big scoop of "kraut and sausage." And the apple cobbler, of course. I had the peanut butter cake yesterday.

It was rather empty today. Everyone was off at the parade. Celebrating Veterans' Day. It's a big deal around here. Mississipi, per capita, has more veterans than perhaps any other state. It's that perfect storm of bravery and patriotism and a perpetually depressed economy.

I had planned to go to the library. It was closed of course. So I meandered out of town, reading the historical markers. Corinth was a railroad town of great strategic importance. Which led to the (Second) Battle of Corinth in which a thousand men died. Another six-thousand were injured. There were forty-five thousand men in the fight. And it was a sort of continuation of Shiloh which was a great deal worse.

I am not wholly ignorant of the history. We may as well thank Ken Burns. But the Civil War has always struck me as being long ago and far away. And it was just as long ago here, but a whole lot closer to home. Which accounts for a general Southern refusal to forget that part of our past.

I still think the good guys won.

I saw some leftover parts of the parade. One or two flag-covered floats. And some military vehicles from Korea or the WWII. I went to the American Legion Hall to admire an old half-track. It looked a little rickety. We've got much better stuff now.

I got to talking to Buster, a biker. He told me a stew feed was on. I'd been fed but I've always wondered what goes on at the American Legion.

The place was packed. The wives greeted me with looks of sad condescension. And made sure I had beef stew and tea and a big piece of chocolate cake. I think they thought I was a hobo. I'm pretty sure everyone did. But they were very nice to me. I introduced myself to as many people as I could.

The tables were bussed by rough young men wearing green and white stripes. They are trustees from the local prison. Naturally we had to chat. God willing, I would never have another chance to talk with a prisoner.

Most of them were a little wary but they greeted me as one of their own. "Got any pot?" I was asked more than once. My hobo reputation had spread. I spoke at length with one fellow, imprisoned for cooking meth. He seemed really decent enough. He had made some wrong turns in life. I don't think locking up drug addicts is quite the right way to go.

I had to pry my way out of there. I would have just as soon stayed. There were plenty of crusty old veterans to talk to. Everyone was very nice. I met Buster again and his friend, a Marine, who had served in Japan. And in Desert Storm, which I know less about. His name was Doug Fortune. He has three daughters; Miss Fortunes, he calls them. He's fond of them nevertheless.

A block up the road I was lost again. I stopped in a shop to ask directions. And wound up being greeted warmly again. I stayed for a couple of hours. It was Boundless Blessings. They sell incense and crystals and other such paraphernalia. They cater to "Christians and Pagans and Wiccans," but not necessarily in that order.

It's all voodoo to me but they were kind. They gave me some CocaCola. And when I was leaving a Miss Andrea said I had a good aura. I was wearing my glow-in-the-dark hat at the time. I might not get all of the credit.

It was coming on four when I left there. I walked for all of an hour. I made it only five miles today but it did get me out of town. And it is meant to be warm tomorrow. It should be a pretty good day.

I THINK I know what is wrong with my computer. I won't bore you with the details. But I can fix it, I'm pretty sure. And it won't cost anything.

YOU NEVER hear anything nice about Mississipi, not outside of the state. And the folks here are not unaware of that fact. I think it's time we all cut them some slack. Mississippians are good people. I'd say as much in court.

DR. PEPPER is foul. How do they sell that stuff.

I HAVE PLEDGED myself to walk to Miami. They've got gators down there. Even now I am camped in a swamp. Send me your happiest thoughts.
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  1. Thank you for stopping by Boundless Blessings!! We were really glad that you came in and making our day brighter! You are always welcomed here!! We will be keeping up with your blog and we are wishing you a safe trip!!

  2. Give my regards to the Corinthians.

    From Matt. And Paul.