Once again I ventured to Bluffton to see people. It ended up being wonderful times with wonderful people last night. I saw some people that I hadn’t seen since last spring and it was great to talk and laugh.
Some of us ended up at the truckstop very early in the morning and we drank coffee and laughed and generally acted like idiots because we could. There were five of us crammed into a four-person booth.
I said my goodbyes which seem to be getting ever more final and hopped in to the Hyundai and drove back across the state. I listed to NPR and there was a folk show on and I listened to songs that I knew from more than ten years ago. The station faded right as the show was ending.
I flew across the flat farmland of Northwest Ohio as the sun set in my rearview mirror. I had my window down and my arm hanging out of the car until it was too cold. The blackness of the night was settling down, though car lights and town lights kept me from seeing many stars. I seemed to hit red lights in the small towns that stood between me and home—Edison, Mount Gilead, Chesterville, Fredericktown, and several others too, although they were so small they didn’t even have stoplights. Over the course of the trip the land faded from flatland to rolling hills and I could smell freshly-cut hay in the fields. I saw a few stars out to the North and thought of a Tom Waits song with the line: “The dark warm narcotic American night, beneath a pincushion sky…”