[ this end up ]

>Over the Mississippi

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2005 at 7 am


Pushing towards the Mississippi a bit hungover, we spot a rest stop and stop to drop what we picked up drinking and eating in Madison. Brian stops to shoot the breeze with an old man who’s outside stretching and I go inside. In the stall I hear Brian’s footsteps enter the bathroom. He walks over to my stall, stops in front of it and squats until his ass is in view, then he farts. How immature of him. I laugh and laugh and laugh and replay the scene and sound in my mind. How immature of us. As immature adventures, however, we have good company, I read somewhere that Lewis once shit in Clarks tent for a good laugh. Business finished, we leave the rest stop and push over the Mississippi and into Minnesota on 90.
    Minnesota is full of rolling hills and farmland. The autumn decay that captured my attention in Indiana is much more vibrant here and I once again find myself staring out the window enjoying the rhythm of it all passing by. We hit highway 35 and turn south into Iowa. The land changes rapidly, the rolling hills dissipate into dead flat. It’s as if the founding statesmen of Iowa wanted flat land, perfect for agriculture, while Minnesota thought that hilly land would be more preferable to their needs. Minnesota asked Iowa for a bit more land to round the number of lakes from 9,998 to 10,000, because they realized ‘land of 9,998 lakes’ would’ve never caught on. The statesman, each pleased with the outcome, shook hands and went their separate ways.
    We come to Clear Lake where my mom’s sister and family live. They’re at a cross country meet in Ventura, just a few miles west and on the way there I brief Brain on the words not to say around this quaint Iowa family. The basic swear words are out, along with ‘stupid’ and ‘shutup.’ Brian lets out a slew of swears for the next few minutes just to purge his system and down a dusty gravel road we reach the meet. We hang for about half-an-hour, exchanging basic small talk before we have to high tail it east to Algona. It’s nothing against the Fyfe’s, they’re good company, but I think my Grandma may have a brain aneurism worrying about us not being there and I wouldn’t want that sort of thing resting on my conscience now, would I?
    My family took a more-or-less annual road trip to my Grandparents and the experience occupies large amounts of my memory. I think part of the joy was that the town of Algona and my Grandparents house never really changed, at least not that I ever noticed. Every year I showed up older and more mature (or less depending on who you ask) and there waiting for me was a sealed time vault to remind of the years before. In the house every photo, every toy, every nook, every object, reminded me of my last interaction of it. Nothing in my life has ever been like that, and it seems so many people try to make their lives unchanging and familiar—they fear change, they fear the unknown, and I can see why such fears and feelings exist.
    We park in the driveway and Brian warns me, “I better not have to eat a fucking casserole.” Grandpa comes out and gives me a bear hug and we head in to see Grandma who is pulling from the oven, a casserole.

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