Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The window’s down, and the miles are falling away slowly along this familiar stretch of road. It’s 37 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The air smells cold and dirty. I’m very consciously amplifying this scent with my cigarette. I’m not so much smoking it as I’m burning it like incense. It mixes perfectly with the smells of rusty industrial decay and the landscape of wooded western Pennsylvania in the autumn. I couldn’t feel more at home anywhere else. I couldn’t feel more secure. My left hand is dangling out the window. The ambient temperature, combined with the forward movement of the car, is freezing my hand and the left side of my face. It’s cold, but it’s okay. I’m enjoying it. The cold loves me, and so does the dirt. I am a part of it. Black Sabbath is throbbing through the speakers, loud, slow and fuzzy. I’m driving along the train tracks. They are to my right, and the Ohio River is to their right. I’m headed home from work, away from town.