Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Things You'll Never See Again
I have a lot of dubious honors to my name, one being that I'm probably in a very select minority of people who has ever travelled for a very long time to see the Hobo Museum somewhere in the hinterlands of Iowa. I got tricked into this trip, kidnapped if you will, lured by promises of fun and excitement and I quote, "things you'll never see again." I often accuse the male gender of exaggeration along with a few other minor crimes (despite my love of Andrea Dworkin, I actually adore men), but in this case, the man in question was correct if not about the fun and excitement part (unless you count the diner in Iowa where they looked at us like aliens -- I credit this to a rather substantial age difference and the fact that I was dressed all in black), but about what I would never see again. The Hobo Museum resides off a tiny side street, manned by one surly teenager who takes the fifty cent entry fee and instructs you to turn on the lights when you get into the one room and turn them off when you leave. My then-boyfriend and I entered the dark room, only to be greeted by various hobo artifacts, signs instructing one how to speak hobo language, and a brief history of hobo life, illustrated on posterboards that had been stuck up to the wall with tacks.
I believe in being a good sport so I took a look around. Don't know a damn thing about hobos or trains, I quickly realized. Didn't know much about anything. The trip was near the end of the relationship, a kind of rage against the dying of the light stuff. I thought about all the seemingly wholesome people in Iowa, all the farmers and shopkeepers and kids we saw, thought about how simple their lives must be in comparison, the whole bullshit self-pity party one has when one can. I sat on the edge of the hobo stage and buried my face in my hands. Thought about the trains in the distance, about how there's always another one coming whether you're ready or not. The room was still dim and gray even with all the lights on. There wasn't much to see but we stayed as long as we could as to not hurt anyone's feelings.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." Twyla Tharp
Drinking reading suggestion: Dry Augusten Burroughs
Benedictions and Maledictions