Clinton, S.C., Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:45 p.m.
I’m home again. It’s been nine days, mostly on the road. I spent seven nights in four hotels and one on a friend’s couch. I drove the following interstate highways: 26, 385, 185, 85, 75, 20, 59, 55, 10, 49, 30, 40, 440, 35E, 35, 24, 65 and the future 66. My pickup has 2,864 new miles.
I’ll fill some blanks as to what I did in the next few days. At the moment, what seems compelling is all I missed. I’ve had a lot of long, long days, the longest of which was serving as emcee at A Day & Night for VISTO in Gainesville, Texas. I also made a drive from there all the way to Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d make it all the way, but I’m glad I did. I spent two nights there and that was beneficial.
Most of the long days were on the road. I watched two minor-league baseball games and listened to a fantastic college game (South Carolina-Vanderbilt) while driving across southern Louisiana. I sold a few books and T-shirts. I played songs, onstage and in a living room. Mostly, though, I listened to music, and while listening to music, I lost all touch with most of the pastimes I usually follow closely.
I know the Boston Red Sox have collapsed, but I lack the gory details. I know California Chrome won the Preakness and Jamie McMurray the Sprint All-Star Race. I know which teams are playing in the NBA and NHL but don’t know where the series stand.
It hasn’t rained much. When I was in Mississippi, it drizzled during a ballgame, but the only times the wipers were ever on in nine days were to clear bug wreckage.
In the last half hour driving home, I listened on satellite radio to the announcement of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame inductees.
The weather has improved enough for construction crews’ taste, and traffic jams in the middle of nowhere were common. I think Arkansas is bad luck for me, going back several years.
About my only creative achievement was the promising start of a new short story, composed on Monday morning in Nashville. (I’ve also got another short story to finish.)
Now that I’m back home, it’s going to be difficult to get back to writing. There are bills to pay, records to keep, lawns to mow, clothes to wash and dry, and trash to dump.
But it’s good to be back in this chair, behind this laptop, with the Red Sox on TV.