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.

PHB

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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 www.peterbehrens.org 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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mincing Into the Slums

...In 1962, the year we traded in the Catalina, I was finally old enough to be enrolled at St. Kevin’s, the nearest English-language public school. Near but far: we lived on the green slope of Mount Royal, and St. Kevin’s was on the grim flat of Côte Des Neiges, a zone of cheap postwar apartment blocks laid over what had once been melon fields. I was sent to my first day of class wearing a grey flannel suit my English grandmother had mailed across the ocean. This loathsome get-up–short pants, elasticized snake belt, thick woolen knee socks, brown oxfords and all–was apparently what proper British schoolboys wore, along with belted navy blue gabardine overcoats and weird peaked caps, all utterly unsuited to the Montreal climate of muggy river heat in June and dead-cold Januarys. St Kevin’s playground resembled a location set for an infant West Side Story, with nine-year-old Italians standing in for Puerto Ricans and underfed Montreal Irish and Newfoundlanders cast as the Jets. Kids named Marcello, Stefano, or Billy O’Doul greased their hair into miniature ducktails, carried combs in their back pockets, and would not have been caught dead in short pants.
My yearning for the Catalina–for the fast, painless transitions it had once offered–may have been a response to the isolation I felt when, outfitted as Little Lord Fauntleroy, I went mincing into the slums. I was unique at St Kevin’s, a weird vision in scratchy uncomfortably authentic British flannel–and so were my parents...
from my essay LOVE CARS  in Literal Magazine no.34

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