Monday, October 23, 2006

Exile from Iowa Part I

It starts with a big bang on a motel room door in Scottsdale, Arizona, where things like this aren’t supposed to happen. Or, at least, they are rare. Or, at least, they have never happened exactly like this before. After you have been in enough cheap motels, after all, if you are real good at pattern recognition, which is really less of a science more like a, well, instinctive thing, you can pretty much trust the bizarre nature of a particular event as worth noting. In this case, the hotel room bursts open, waking you from your sleep at about midnight. Suddenly you are awake, your head is spinning, the door is open, your girl is gone, and so is your dog. So is your weed. Everything that gave you solace during the course of that ridiculous day is missing, in fact, and the noise outside your door is a weird sort of rumbling of bodies flying against each other, rude noises, angry sounds of men in some kind of heat of anger. Some kind of riot is going on outside your door, which has burst open. There is a big dog bark, maybe two big bellowing big dog barks, for just a moment, but then that’s gone, too, and the shouting of men in heat remains as sound waves of thumping and women wimpering cascades around you. Your first thought, O. is missing, she is missing, your girl is missing, and these two things, the absence and the melee, are somehow related. So you venture out your door, and what you see in in the surreal night light, the luxury night light of Scottsdale, in a parking lot with a great big high end department store logo glow in the background of your sight, a pretty place where perfect people shop and corporate America plunders ... in this soft spacious parking lot where many mall-dressed trophy wives have carried their bags in and out of the mall, and where touristas have parked their many cars, too, since it’s officially a Motel 6 parking lot, in Scottsdale of all places, there is a kind of cyclonic motion of men in tuxedos and women in white wedding dresses thumping on someone, apparently a black man with knotty hair. By this time, the contagion of wild violence is rolling away from your door, down the Motel Six sidewalk in front of the rooms, between the parked cars in the door, and they are wailing away on the guy, in the light. Then the cop cars come, and they have dogs, too, and they are barking. Then the cops look at you, with your mouth agape, asking you if you belong here, asking you if you are missing anything, and you say no, lying, of course, because you never tell the strange cop the strange sad inner truth of what you are thinking: Your girlfriend is missing. So is your dog and so is your pot. You deny your very deepest worry because you think, well, hell, they all must be related, right?
I relate this little Kodak moment to you, right now, from another cheap motel room in a place called Bushland, Texas. Really, it’s a place to the west of Amarillo. And these two places, the Motel 6 in Scottsdale, and this anonomoplace in Texas, because they are uniquely related, too. Through me and now, as you read this, through you. You are now being impacted, in some slight way, at least, by the wedding riot outside the door of the Motel 6 and by yes, the fact it has an impact on me.
In the time since the wedding riot, all I have really learned is the insurgents were all from out of town, and they were beating up some guy because some $3,000 wedding gift got broken. There were several arrests. If you wanted to, you could go to the Scottsdale police station and get the facts. There must be a real interesting story there about that riot. You could piece it together and make a movie out of just that. But I won’t, because I’m in a cheap motel room in Texas right now, and that event may have just as well been a hurricane, and I’ll bet all of those Katrina victims never watched much on TV during those one-year anniversary specials because they were probably just trying to deal, all the same, with the impacts of the storm. That’s me, in a nutshell. Just trying to deal with the impact of the storm.
The storm is in my head now. It has cigarrette smoke for clouds. The low pressure reading is in the chest, at the flatland level of worry. Cattle trucks are searing down the highway right now and this is one of those authentic Kerouac-like moments that maybe you wish you could experience, too, but, dear reader, I wouldn’t recommend it. Oh sure, your girl and your dog and your weed eventually returned to that Motel 6, and the riot and the disappearance were, as it turned out, unrelated. Maybe. Maybe. What can you trust anymore, anyway, based on the apparent lack of information. All you know is that Saturday, a week ago, my whole enchilada was thrown into the air, and I’m not sure how or why. I know I have been lied too, by either the dog or the weed or O. Who knows?
I know I have been lied to in Bushland. I can trust that, at least. But that’s another subject. The straightforward reason for this dissertation is how it actually launched a rather impromptu road trip from Scottsdale, Arizona, to a place called Morning Sun, Iowa. That’s about 1,200 miles. It’s got to be that distance, but honestly, I have rarely looked at the map throughout this entire trip. I know this country pretty well, by now, and one thing I’ve noticed that as big as it is, it’s getting smaller all of the time. But, for the sake of the honest novel and the need for plain simple record keeping, let’s just keep this epic tale in the time frame of this road trip, and just let the lessons of life creep in.
Such as: If dog is man’s best friend, there are limits to this friendship, and therefore, a dog’s, um, fidelity. Because in this case the dog remained away for the rest of the night. And when O. came back from her mysterious journey that night, you spent the next 12 hours trying to explain, how, exactly, the dog got away, and why, exactly, you have so many questions of her whereabouts for the Saturday in question. Eventually, the dog returned to the very same parking lot at about 10 a.m. Arizona time that following Sunday, acting like, hey, I’m back, where are all of the bad guys now? O. and I are delirously happy at the return of the dog. But folks, there’s just this plain fact now, whatever happened the night before, if it was enough to send a dog the size of a camel running around Scottsdale in terror, it was certainly enough to send me, the dog, and O., the Exile of From Iowa, hurling at high speeds onto the continent in a generally northeasterly direction toward Iowa, where O. was born.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

11:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home