Friday, May 09, 2003


McGill found his wheels one fine spring day in 1992. Tires met road with an able intensity, gravel spritzing in all directions like a mini-sprinkler. The dew was early morning-wet; he had sat consolately on the wet cushions of the lawn chair in his bathrobe and didn't care. He felt the water giddy-up through the cloth to his bare skin. The horizon
had a look of longing about it and he aimed to touch it. He shed the dew-logged robe and grabbed a pair of shorts and shirt and lit out like Huck Finn for Any where. No destination, just a tankful of gas to burn and a horizon to gambel with, in an old bruiser of a car, a black Cadillac Seville with 108,000 on it. Into the biting sun the car strode,
a six-pack and a collection of snacks of varying vintages at the ready.

He opened a beer and it sung in his mouth, not because it was any better than usual but because it had a celebratory connection in it. Oh, he thought, the very reinventableness of everything! Cowboy, garabage man, kariokee singer - I! He pondered Mardi Gras. Are the masks for sexual license only? Or could there be a freeing up inside, where a beggarman can be king for a day? Ferris Beuhler took his day off and really lived - what if we gave ourselves permission to really live just one day?

He came to a mom-n-pop gas station in Merrillsville, North Dakota. He filled the tank and bought his first Icee in twenty years and inquired if there were any job openings. He slung eggs and bacon at the conjoined truckstop restaurant for the next year. People stopped him and asked for his autograph because he looked like Dale Earnhardt even though Dale was dead. He would always sign, sometimes to complaints like, "He didn't make his E like that!". He wandered from job-to-job and found little merit in that, like wandering from woman to woman. Sex, he figured, is about the most meaningful non-meaningful thing there ever was. Muggeridge convinced him that sex was the mysticism of a materialist society. He wondered what fool made up the cliche, 'he has an eye for the ladies' for there weren't a man born with coursing blood that didn't have a similar eye. Even preachers couldn't miss a D-cupful if their life depended on it.

• • • • •

Desperately Seeking Retirement
..a situational comedy
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