Today I drove to Iowa and back. Nevermind the reasoning, its beneath your concern. I spent six hours in a van listening to two episodes of "This American Life", an epic mix CD I made for someone's birthday, and a compilation of Elliot Smith demos (thanks james). Stories the way down, music the way up, all the while getting paid. It's been some time since I've had that many hours of solitude. It was as peaceful as one would expect. I even managed to not think about much of anything but the stretch barren dirty stripped expanses in front of me, occasionally making mental notes of things to dwell on later. I noticed that small towns between Minnesota and Iowa have some curious names. One in particular I thought was worth a moment of my attentions was an exit sign that just said Hope ext 41, with an arrow pointing to a road that lead nowhere, where there were no houses, fields, farms, cows, no strip malls, no airplanes, no trees, just the most complete nothing I have ever laid eyes on. I'm not sure if I think that was funny, but I'm not sure I don't either. It was just a simple and plain breed of remarkable. I regret not getting off on that exit, regardless of my destination, my job, my family and friends, cat and dog, my pretty things and my sweet boyfriend. I should have done what was so obvious to do, that I doubt many people have done on principle. There wasn't even a bird flying in Hope. I doubt even a insect lives in the city of Hope.
I was running late on the way home, due to an extended and fruitless lunch break in the Casino about twenty miles off the border, favoring the Iowinian side. I was down four (dollars that is, not hundred) when I left. No bother really though. I don't really like going to Diamond Joe's that much, but it has become a personal tradition when I make this particular drive along 35W. Regardless of my tardiness, when I passed Hope I slowed way way down to gander down the desolate isle of dirt, still nothing. I squinted and took of my sunglasses, and still there was nothing to look at.
Also, I passed an exit that read Manly Forest City.