Route 1

Must be something about this time of summer. The humidity seems to cling; the scent of those flowers in the next yard over is cloying, and the weeds threaten to overwhelm the garden. All the minor nuisances of the year seem to coalesce into a sort of fog. All the fractures in the pavement seem to edge up and catch your feet. Ever have a day like that?

Then last night, I dreamed I was on the road. Traveling down Route 1 in southern Maine, but not the overloaded with kitsch corridor that it is now; the way it was in the ’60’s – actual spaces between towns, long stretches of nothing but woods and fields. I felt the familiar weight of my guitar case in my left hand and the feel of my old hiking boots on my feet.

Then out of nowhere, I heard the wailing of a siren: shit, the fuzz. So alongside the road, I waited for the patrol car to stop. What sort of colloquial bull should I suggest to the Law as to why I was hitching in their town?
My chest felt heavy. The wailing siren did not stop. Something wet touched my face. What? It was Xenia, my cat. What was she doing on the road in coastal Maine in the 1960s? She wanted to be fed?
I rolled out of bed, still half inside my dream, and nearly tumbled down the stairs to the kitchen. I was trying to keep the dream rolling inside my head…if I fed her, the cops would go away, and I could continue my trip to wherever.
She was content after I opened the fresh can of food. So I climbed back into bed. I tried to insert myself in the dream but couldn’t recapture that dream. So here I am writing about it. Ever have a night like that?

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