By the third time, we’d marched around the common and past the little elephant on a model of the world we knew we weren’t in Massachusetts anymore. At least not our Massachusetts. We weren’t trying to do a half marathon around the town’s center. It was just that every time we passed the sign indicating this way to Route 2 west, we wound up going east and around the little town common.
Being no stranger to things unusual while hitching in New England, we decided to stop at the little cafe on a corner and ask for directions. Right away, we noticed the framed photos of Miss Limboville in 1965 and again in 1966. The attractive waitress who showed us to a table mentioned that this was her daughter, and hopes were high that soon there’d be a third photo on the wall. As she poured our coffee, she mentioned that “…you know, three’s a charm!” We smiled and sipped at the coffee, which tasted burned. We explained our predicament to the short-order cook who examined our map with a kind of wonderment. He picked it up to the light, turned it over, and smiled. “Here’s your problem,” pointing to the western edge of the gas company map. “We’re off the map, and where you’re going is on the following map. “So how do we get there,” we asked. “well, you can’t get there from here,” he replied, folding up our map neatly and handing it back.
We pondered this, and my friend asked, ” well, how do we get back to where we came from?” the look we got from the cook was pure contempt, ” why in hades would you want to do that? You just left there! Where are you going to?” New York City, we replied. “Well, why in eternal damnation didn’t you say so. That’s on the Highway to Hell. Go out there, around the Common three times widdershins, take a left onto Tophet road. Go past the cut-off for the Lake of Fire Homes. You’ll see the on-ramp right past there. Take the last exit for Gehenna and go through the gas jets from the pit, and you’re all set.”
We tried to follow the directions but got lost around the Lake of Fire housing development. Standing by its gates, we pondered going in and asking for help at the model home office but sensed that we would lose all hope by entering there. We trudged on till, in frustration, my friend pulled out his painted red Chuck Taylor good luck basketball shoes. putting them on, he began clicking his heels together while we both loudly entreated: “There’s No Place Like Home, there’s no place like home.”
So, now we’re in Kansas trying to get back to Boston. We have plans to avoid that entire Massachusetts section in perpetuity and advise you to do the same.

5 Replies to “Highway”

    1. Yes. there really was a strange little town in western Mass with an elephant on a globe, and we were lost in the rain there. We went around that damned Common three or four times looking for a road sign.
      I’ve never been able to locate the damn place since then. Both I and my friend Bill were totally clean that night, not a joint, nor a beer. Some weird stuff did happen on the road, and sometimes I’ve wondered if that had been just a little expedition off the map.

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