903 Words, Written In 14 Minutes- Take Me West!

Spring in is, in a peculiar sort of way -and if you are lucky enough to know the difference – a rather depressing and hum-drum affair. It is all for naught, and the process essentially brings some flowers up and out of the mud, if for only a few months, with the fall and winter swallowing up the dead foliage back into the chilly muck of November.

Take my word for it, and head out to the coast, to … Just go out to The City by the Bay and you’ll see.

They don’t necessarily have spring, at least not like it is here. mud pickup There is no fall either… there is only a lengthy summertime and a brief rainy period that they call winter. To put it simply, it is a City that is always full of life, there is no mud for the goddam Easter lilies to sprout up out of… they don’t know what mud is, and they’re better people for it. It’s no wonder that Silicone Valley popped up out there, it was no accident, and it was a planned and absolutely necessary placement- the best minds on the planet in possibly one of the best areas on the planet.

Indiana, on the other hand- well, we are where people ended up that made it over the black swamp in northern Ohio in the late 18th through the mid 19th centuries.  Or, we are comprised of those who came up and across the River from Kentucky 100 years later, when the great depression crushed the meager life of the sharecropper or the coal miner, forcing them into little bit of industrialism existed, built by Yankees– make no mistake, the Kentuckians were NOT welcomed, and we still make jokes about each other, Hoosiers and Kentuckians alike, even though both bloodlines on both sides of that muddy mess of a river are hopelessly inbred and connected. I happen to have a fair amount of Kentuckian and equally worthless “Scotch-Irish/German” (which pre-disposed me to a life of alcoholism before I kicked that Mother F’er), but- I digress.

The point is, I’m nothing but a mixed up Mutt of an American, with ancestors that actually SETTLED for so much less than our western counterparts. If a wagon wheel broke in the deep cut grooves of the ancient National Road, then the people just sort of decided to…stay there. Oh, and I get it. I once burned a wheel bearing in Tulsa, OK. If it weren’t for my Dad and Firestone Car Care down the street, I would STILL be stranded out in Oklahoma… My loser great-great whatever’s were no different. They were broke, uneducated, and most likely un-inspired; just like me.

If it were different, they would’ve had some dough to hop on a steamer and round the Cape Horn on their way to San Francisco… yeah, then I would’ve been something.steamer At least, if I still turned out in the shape that I did, well– at least I would’ve lived in a decent area, with a live able and fairly inspiring climate. Like I said, they don’t have MUD out there for the flowers to grow out of, they only have the ocean, some sand… and flowers are just a nice thing that goes along with it, year-round.

But, I grew up around the White River, on the banks of the river. It’s where we spent our summertime, I learned to pick the bones from my teeth as we all chowed down on catfish fried in cornmeal. My grandparents ate their catfish with catsup- not Ketchup- but catsup, at times “home-made” and runny, and they were proud of it. The fact of the matter is, that they didn’t know the difference, and had no idea that you aren’t supposed to eat fish that still has bones in it, and absolutely not with “catsup”. … No horseradish, no nothing. Just catsup. Sheesh. No wonder I turned out like this.

But, we didn’t ever get to LIVE on the river, no- we lived at the edge of the river bottoms, and the reject land that farmers planted on when it wasn’t flooded. We weren’t on high ground, and if the water rose, our basement filled with water. Just a hot mess. The rich people lived on high ground. Most of the farmers lived on high ground. Us, well we lived on the bottom ground, in the mud, and caught the over-spray from crop dusters all summer. crop dusterI’ll probably develop cancer at some point from all of the stinking chemicals that were sprayed on the 5000 acres of corn, and incidentally- ME, but no one will care about that. Just one more screwball, who grew up in the muddy field, drinking un-filtered muddy water, and catching overspray from crop dusters… Living in the mud, and waiting for Easter Sunday, blooming dogwoods, flowers, and for the mud to dry up… until the NEXT rainstorm.

I MISS the West Coast, I miss The City… someone please give me an excuse to go back out and pay too much for an apartment… The City, always alive, always humming with electricity and vibrating- either from a tiny quake or from the constant movement of the streetcars up and down Market St.embarcadero

Yeah, on a nice bench down on the Embarcadero; or sitting on a shitty park bench and watching a heroin deal go down in the Tenderloin… I’m ready to go back.

Keep the mud and cornfields Indiana. Keep your springtime and wintertime. Keep all of the nonsensical bible belt horseshit which only ferments into a regional identity when nothing else is present to dissuade everyone towards a brighter future, one that is founded in a want for equality and for the sake of humanity. Keep the mud and the muck, all of it. I’ve had my fill.

Send me to the Golden State, to The Bear Republic,  I’ll take the better part of all that awaits.