Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bus Stop Chocolate Milk

So one day, young Lewis Nordan runs away from Itta Bena, Mississippi. He eats a barbecue sandwich with slaw on it and drinks chocolate milk at the bus stop. Then he starts on his trip to New York. "I puked halfway to Memphis and a lady bought me a Coca-Cola in Batesville to calm my stomach down... If anything is remarkable about this time in my life, it is that I actually found the beatniks... right where rumor and corny jokes had said they would be." In his first coffeehouse, he sits at a table next to a woman who is reading a hardcover of Poe, just the way he imagined her. He calls it "one of those fictionlike moments that sometimes actually occur... My heart stopped, or seemed to stop, I swear. All traces and memories of pork barbecue disappeared from the face of the earth. The woman shifted slightly in her chair and placed one long red-nailed finger on the dust jacket of the book, which carried a famous picture of the author, dark-eyed and fully dissipated."