Country Bumpkin Charm
Each time I fly back into the big city, I sneak up on my old friend Tim. After surprising him with a traditional Inspector Clouseau / Kato maneuver, we drive around for Auld Lang Syne. While we hit most of our old haunts, the past we worship briefly resuscitates, through the well-regarded stories we share.
We exchange our lively anecdotes; some unspoken for decades, as I drive an old beater past the house where we dropped off a dropsy friend with a fine-feather we adorned in his cap, so his dad could get a good laugh at the boys out on the town. After a sentimental pizza, I hit the free-for-all freeway, where I drive in the slow lane. Tim says I drive like a country bumpkin. We come to a stop light and glance over at the racecar next to us, booming out rapid bass beats from its speakers. Tim doesn’t stare at the people, but I do, ‘cause I’m freshly fallen off the spud wagon, landed directly at
Fifteen years in
We pull over and Tim decides to drive for a while. There’s always a concern about someone sneaking up around you on this crazy freeway. We have a long discussion about how I’ve become accustomed to looking directly at the people in the wheels going by and start singing, “I really love to watch them turn.” I tell Tim, “Where I now hail from there’s a chance that I might actually know the people, could exchange a friendly glance with them and simply smile.”
Tim says, “Banholzer, you know better than to establish eye contact in the City. People are shot for less.” More of the roads have changed since my last visit. I say to Tim, “These pie in the sky ramps remind me of some of the elaborate mazes we used to construct for each other back in fourth grade, before computer codes entered schools.”
Now, I’m stumped. The freeway we’ve been on for twenty minutes is unfamiliar. Tim has it figured out though. He has planned for our elaborate loop to take us where he considers the country, but reminds me of
Tim, why don’t you move to