Added on Friday 17 Aug 2012
They’re hoovering (or should I say Dysoning?) the Greyhound terminal on South Jefferson, decked out in a nice newish livery of red, white and blue since I last passed that way. A bunch of young cowboys, from Tennessee it seems, is playing cards in the cafeteria, and I’m waiting on the service for Topeka.
I’ll get there about 2.00 a.m. tomorrow morning, wait ‘til break of day, then try and get through to Council Grove, an otherwise ubiquitous small town, but the only one planted right in the exact dead centre of America as well as deep amidst the Kansas wheatfields, and for all I know right in the middle of America’s longest, deepest drought since the Great Depression.
It seems I am leaving the Gotham City of Christian Bale’s Batman for Clark Kent’s mythic Smallville, and what small-town America will make of a lanky, blond Asperger from Glasgow, Scotland, I really do not know.
Like the Wichita lineman, I am strung out on the wire. Autistic fear and anxiety are ever with me, if compressed and translated into little blocks of decision and anxiety linked by grappling hooks which let me navigate through the day.
The six-wheeled Greyhounds sit idle in the bays. The last of the Discovery Passes is in my pocket (they’ll be discontinued after August), but it feels like yesterday.
It is yesterday.
But I’ve already left my dear Miss Landau, who flew home from Chicago on Sunday.
I don’t believe I’ll see her in L.A., and I know I must make the crossing alone. One last time, without a guide along the way.
But yesterday is just a step away, a tap-dance in the avenues of time. There are ways and means to turn back the clock, easy as spinning on a dime.
I once wrote of “doors which let the lucky traveller, still young, walk out into a different summer and another day.”
An author I admired once put forward a fantastic idea:
Convince a man he’s living in another era. Take away everything that tells him he’s in the world of today and replace them with the backdrop of another time. 1900, 1880, 1850, whenever.
Slowly, he forgets where he really is and the impossible, the unreal, becomes the mundane and everyday.
And then, when the last fragments of doubt are gone, he throws open the curtains and walks out into that other summer...
I am carrying her colours again, out of place in this day and age, but my ghosts from long ago and far away, they seem a little closer now, I’m very glad to say.
I may be out of place and time, I may be mad to search out yesterday, but just between you and I, my friend, I’m going to do it anyway.