Back in 2000, when I told my folks that my wife had left me, one of the first things out of my mom’s mouth was “Are you leaving town?”  I suppose it’s a normal reaction when things fall apart that badly, that a person would just want to get away, but I still think it was an amazing question from an amazing lady.  I really don’t need that much encouragement to go on the road; I can look out the back window of the store, at the interstate hitting the horizon just a couple miles away, and immediately want to head out to my car and drive across the state.  Back in ’03 I drove to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry, because I’d never been there, and Georgia, to see my favorite country girl singer, Patty Loveless, and was going to go to the Smoky Mountains, because I’d never been there, and go to bars in downtown Nashville and see local bands and fall in love with some gal, but my car more or less blew up in Nashville, so I had to rent a car, cut short the trip, then limp my car back home.  I bought a new one, got introduced to a woman a month later, got her pregnant and the rest is history.  In fact it’s a whole other unique story that I’ll give you the full details of later.  You don’t have to be wildly in love to produce a baby, but sometimes it helps to be in the same room for a while (I’ll be sure to leave out those details).  I still haven’t lost that desire to hit the road, and am tireder than ever of this town, of cold winters, of bland scenery,  of a host of other things.  When it comes down to it, 70 pounds of pure silliness is all that keeps me here.  I’m very thankful for that and for her, and I could imagine a lot of bad things happening to the world, to me, or to anyone I know, but I couldn’t imagine a world where she never had come into it.

But I still want to leave town, so I go on day trips, or weekend trips, and spend too much money to not satisfy the itch, to just take the edge off my wanderlust a little.  Maybe someday I’ll head East again, maybe Chesapeake Bay.

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2 Responses to Wanderlust

  1. This reminded me of my own wanderlust. Not that I could forget it, with a confluence of so many things conspiring to keep me indoors and away from the places a city like Chicago can offer to anyone with bus fare and some imagination.

    I have Patty Loveless’s (is that too many esses?) bluegrass Christmas album, and I’m in love with her rendition of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” I think that’s what it’s called. I’m too busy marvelling at her voice to look it up.

    I hope you’ll tell us more about some of those day trips. I’ve had some awful interesting experiences tagging along with people who are willing to drive. I can’t. Nor could I afford it if I could.

    • I’d hate to not be able to drive. “Marvelling at her voice”–you hit the nail on the head. I wonder if a young Patty Loveless, if she started out today, would even make it in today’s formulaic country music scene. “You’ll never leave Harlan Alive” is so great–I got to see her sing it in person, and it’s on a DVD that came with the album it was on, from an Austin City Limits performance, I think. She’s amazing. It was a small auditorium where I first saw her, and I think she knew I was in love with her.

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