It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES ... Music is the mathematics of the gods=PYTHAGORAS ... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL ... But laughter cannot survive without the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

GOM: The Novel ... Chapter 2


It is mid August, 2016.

Somewhere in Arkansas,
from the driver's seat
of a 16-foot, 6-wheeled
moving truck, I tell her
a story about driving
through Arkansas
in a Honda Civic.

That year was 2004.

I was moving from California
to Virginia, in search of family.

I drove through ten states 
and the average interstate speed–
mostly in cruise-control–
was 65 mph.

That was true for every state
except Arkansas, where roadwork
was everywhere along

That is not exactly true:
Signs indicating construction
projects on I-40 were everywhere.

Road crews were rarely to be seen
but what did happen at each site:
traffic was reduced to one lane
and the speed limit
was reduced to 
20 mph.

In 2004, I could not help but think of the home state
of the previous President of the United States:

Before leaving office, President Clinton
had pork-barreled mega-bucks for infra-structure
in his home state, creating countless jobs
for Arkansanians and many slow motion
moments on the interstate highways.

As a life-time New Yorker
and hardcore Clinton hater,
I thought she would appreciate
this information. 
I enjoyed telling her this story
because she did not interrupt me once
while my eyes were fixed on the road,
undeterred by glances at the passenger seat.

She did not interrupt me for what became 
an obvious reason:

She had been asleep for the entire time
after we stopped at a Cracker Barrel
in West Memphis to clean the windshield
and eat a hearty lunch.

If you have seen one Cracker Barrel,
you have seen them all
is a statement that is
99.9% true.

You can rely on their food to be
tastefully mediocre and you
are guaranteed to hear
at least one Hank Williams
song coming out of the walls.

Maybe you get lucky and
you get a Patsy Cline ballad. 

Except the West Memphis CB
had something no other 
Cracker Barrel had:
the staff was entirely black
and the food tasted better
than mediocre!

© Paul Oliverio 

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