20 March 2000
Texas is a short, thickset man with a fleshy, brutal face. Sorry, every other sentence out of me is something from Leyner. I read some passage recently wherein the author said that the horizon was so big you could actually see the curve of the earth, and that's how west Texas is. There is absolutely nothing, just plains, endless, with elaborately gorgeous grain silos huddled next to the freeway every 50 miles or so. The only hills are the man-made ones that hold up the overpasses.
Today was dun-colored and the sky was a thick grey. It's like there was smog everywhere but with no population and no factories to speak of, it must be enormous dust clouds. The sky to the north looked like pure evil. Lubbock is the birthplace of Buddy Holly, if memory serves.
It's hideous, but it also appeals to my minimalist tendencies (which don't, you know, extend to my writing, for better or for worse). Straight lines, strength in emptiness, character in characterlessness. And actual tumbleweeds! These are highways for movies, and indeed, I passed through Happy, Texas, though it made no brash, loud reminder that a movie called that came out a few months back.
These towns have water towers, as does my new home of West Chester, PA, which was one of its big selling points. Water towers with the town's name painted on it. I think I feel a burgeoning side-fascination, something minor but persistent, and that is with water distribution. It all started with my reading of an article about Las Vegas' water dealings, and of course there's Chinatown.
Billboards: "Adopt a horse or burro and see what happens!" "Taffy, earrings, fudge!"
Yesterday's Phone Log inspired a lot of people to call today, though I kept missing the calls due to my phone's weirdness. The phone just got extremely hot as I talked to Alexis; make of that what you will.
Alex is my project manager.
Callers included Aunt Mary, Mace, Pop, Prionix Tim, Lisa From Atlanta, Jesse, Maura, Kieca, and Leigh. Leigh told me the first part of a joke and said she'd call back with the punchline but I think the punchline is "You take the F out of 'weigh'" and the jokee says, "There's no F in 'weigh'!" and you deliver the zinger: "That's right, there's no f'n way!" That's what it should be, even if it's not.
I'm at the desk in my motel room and there's a mirror right here so I can catch glimpses of myself as I write. I look like a wounded jackalope being given electroshock therapy. Also: I've been calculating the Potential Roadkill Kill Ratio. The formula needs some work, but it involves the number of dead animals I've seen on the side of the road and the number of miles I'm traveling and the potential that an animal will be killed by the Pill. According to my preliminary calculations, a skunk will be dead by 4PM on Thursday afternoon.
I'm going to start writing my book. A temporary first line was decided upon by yrs truly this afternoon and it's something like, "It was Day 17 of the plague." I talk to myself a lot in the car, I don't mind admitting. I didn't do so much in my apartment because I thought my neighbors might hear me, but in my car I feel OK about it, and that's where the real self-therapy and story-planning and idle-thought activity gets going, except when I'm at a stoplight or whatnot and somebody pulls alongside me, then I have to stop in mid-sentence and hold that idea until the light changes, though I often forget it in those precious seconds. I really should get my windows tinted so the entire car is just one shade of pure black, reflecting absolutely nothing back.
The Super 8 Motel. This place stinks. Actually, it's perfectly fine and generic but the atmosphere is malevolent (Leyner again) and the check-in clerk didn't have even the faux politeness that many Texans exhibit out of tired habit. They provided no pen so I have to use the one I stole from the Luxor to fill out my census.
Today's Facial Hair Report:
The Delta of Venus.
Again, nothing interesting, just Mr. Pibb. I need to start going out of my way to pick up something new. Still, it does remind me of the time at work when we had a blind Mr. Pibb/Dr. Pepper taste-test, or rather, not taste-test but ID test, to see if the taster could differentiate between the two. Oh you better believe I could.