I-80 always feels like home to me.

April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tell me again about the skies over Elko. Yes, I meant that in the plural. And how you bought whiskey at Wal-Mart and a sandwich at Subway, the special of the month, because you should always get the special you always say. Why? Well, because it’s special. Of course. QED. And you paid for all of it in change. Granted, the whiskey was cheap. And how you missed everyone. But you were not yet lonely. Not quite yet. Because the wind was so high. And the sky so large. Yes, I meant that in the singular that time. And the check-out guy at Wal-Mart so nice. Even though you were buying just a bottle of whiskey with change. Maybe that’s why he was so nice. Because people in Elko understand that kind of thing, you told me. Because the wind there is so high. And because of the skies. The skies change everything. They can’t make you smart but they can make you empathetic. Wind-weathered and sober-kind, that’s how you described Elko.

There are towns you talk about and towns you don’t. How did you decide which was which? Did you? Hartford, for example, how come you never talk about Hartford? It doesn’t have the Elko skies, but I know it had the girl that would kiss you. I know you took the bus there just for those kisses. Isn’t that worth talking about? I know you used to eat minute rice back then. Is that it? Are you embarrassed because of the minute rice thing? You shouldn’t be. I haven’t been to Elko, but I too have an empathy and a sober-kindness. The only thing you’ve ever told me about Hartford is that you went to the Mark Twain house and at the gift shop they sold Mark Twain brand bottled water. You said you’d like to know what Mark Twain would have to say about that. Or rather, how he would say what he had to say about that.

No, we don’t have to talk about Hartford. Tell me again about the skies over Elko. Tell me about the clerk at Wal-Mart who said that in Elko you could touch the sky. Tell me about how you wanted to say that aren’t you always touching the sky no matter where you are, aren’t you always in the sky? But you didn’t. Because sometimes there is a difference between a fact and the truth.

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