Morning In Those Middle Latitudes

…everybody wanted you to be just like them down on Maggie’s Farm, and her mother weren’t no better, and her daddy weren’t either, but they still got frost in the valley, and the sun still slanted low in the morning in those middle latitudes, listening to The Doors’ Horse Latitudes while washing the Miasma on Hedgegroom Street that late-winter Florida morning, the Miasma no match for Stan’s ’62 Gant Andromeda, Bob roaring to the beach to trip balls with him and Donde, who was never stranded because she never knew where she was, it was eight-ball acid and the sun set early even in Florida, and when it went down it got cool on the beach, even Old Myrina Beach, weaving the car down the sand, like in ’87, Bob’s first solo visit to Lackadaisy, sitting on the hood of the Dillinger, then off to see La Bamba before heading back to Snowy Glade, the details of memory like a brick lane covered with live oaks and Spanish moss, or a tree in a swimming pool courtyard that in its heyday was great, only the crystal clear water in the pool shined, the sun balancing off brick in Muskedo, through naked branches of trees, the sound of the Hi hissing like a great

… the details of memory like a brick lane covered with live oaks and Spanish moss, or a tree in a swimming pool courtyard …

straight-line snake slithering along its tracks, Bob caught between two lines, the Banks and the Jordan, the sky his only comfort the day after a clouded rain, rain and renting video tapes from the general store in Elbowie, Tennessee, then back over the mountain, it was the first time seeing Forest Gump, in the trailer in Rausch Holler, also Quiz Show, rented at the same time as buying a pack of Darlington Lights sprayed with nicotined dog piss, the laundry just around the corner in Elbowie, reading Walden while waiting for the clothes to dry in that stoplight town of a few, swinging on the set in the park across the street in the square, cleaning the clothes that were layered over Bob’s skin while installing sheet metal ductwork in new homes in Braxton, sweatpants over long johns, then jeans and umpteen layers of shirts, hat, gloves, all covered in construction mud, like the mud that covered the hillside where lived the Buddhists who farmed their land and roofed in Braxton, carpooling all of an hour-and-a-half to the jobsite, where the Bobcar got stuck leaving their mountaintop retreat in the ice storm, like the hill that ate the Bobcar just over from Rausch Holler, almost making it to the top, then hitting the ice in full sunlight the day after the storm, Fortuna bringing a passing pickup to pull Bob out of the ditch, which ran next to the voluptuous road and curved past the reservoir which would become all new homes in a few years, the land aching for the trees, Bob going back a few years later and seeing the landscape denuded, the magic being plowed under by progress and money and time…


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