Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Munjoy Hill, Portland Maine

January thaw. It's around 45F. A lot of the snow that had been dumped during the last month was washed away by a couple of warm, wet, windy days this week.  It's funny, now that we are such a wired nation, how phrases go from unfamiliar to overused to parody, literally in the space of an afternoon. I first heard the term 'polar vortex' on Tuesday around midmorning. By the next day I'd heard it a hundred times--on the radio, in conversation, read it in the NYT. By the end of the week a whole entertainment subindustry around the concept had come and gone.
I took a little walk around Portland's east end this morning. Feeling wan after a week's worth of a bad cold. That glazed, unfocused, weak-limbed you know what I'm talking about?  It's difficult to do anything well, except whine. While walking I felt I was sleepwalking, and only took the camera out of my pocket once. I was intrigued with the way the first story of this balloon-framed house slopes out: if that is a traditional New England style, I've never noticed it before. Maybe it's a post-modern change: but that would have meant new footings, a new foundation, right? Or maybe not. It's not that easy to see in the photograph, but the first story sheath walls slant outward slightly, from the top to the bottom--sort of like they are leaning against the rest of the house. It's not a particularly pleasing effect.
I tell myself I feel the light coming back. Well, on a day like today, that's easy. But there's lots of winter still to come.

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