Saturday, September 17, 2005

Postcard: Illinois

From a hotel near St. Louis, I am weary and wild.

I can't seem to post pictures from my trusty though confusing little white-silver Mac, (one of the best going away presents anyone ever gave me) which is too bad because already I have pictures, pictures of the circus signs on a storefront in Lawrenceburg, pictures of the giant pink elephant with a martini in his trunk from the topiary garden, pictures of the covered bridge, pictures of the sunset.

It occurs to me this whole way I will be driving into sunsets.

In my stomach is a hard little fist of fear. It unclenches and unclenches, goes away then returns like someone is rolling a ball of yarn out and in, gathered and away.

Morning glory in the cornfields.

An car accident near the casinos, floating in the river like mines.

Indiana, where I was born, long and dry.

My step-grandmother tells me to keep eating fruit; it will keep me thin. My step-grandfather presses forty dollars into my hand. I try to leave it on the couch but he sees.

I plan my next book in my head.

Tomorrow is Missouri. Tomorrow is an arch and river. Tomorrow is sun—I have been promised. Tomorrow is closer and closer all the time.

Dinner at a Japanese place by the air force base. All the other diners are soldiers, soldiers' wives. The little boy next to me folds the pink umbrella from his kiddie cocktail securely into his pocket.

I think I'm going to take this thingy home with me, he says.

Good, I say. You're going to need it later.