Saturday, January 26, 2008

Had I been a pioneer...

…I would have been a lousy one. Setting out for California from, say, Plymouth Rock, I might have made it to Worcester, a 100 or so miles if you don’t know. Remember in the beginning there was no Route 128 nor I-95, no country lanes, no roads at all and the paths of the animals went round and round, while if you followed the trails blazed by Native Americans (and weren’t a Native American and maybe even if you were - fair is fair…) you (I!) were going to get your hair-lifted or suddenly your white Anglo-Saxon heritages and traditions were going to be seriously tried as you go from slave-driver to slave in a simple twist of fate one afternoon while traversing Dearborn through enemy territory.

Who knew? One day I’m at Eton, the next I’m toady to a Shaman. Escape? And go where? Plus the snow would have been two feet deep and no sign of a let-up, snow to your waist, 20 below zero, bloody rags for shoes, no mittens, frozen salt-pork and hardtack for dinner. And the wagon master wanted you to push on, forge ahead, California is only light years away…

Beg pardon? Like, man, my dogs are killing me. I can barely breathe, there’s no end to the underbrush in these endless forests dark as a tomb, I’m hungry, I’m cold (hot), bored, terrified, lonely, sick, tired, irritable, scared – did I say that? – thirsty, broke, busted, disgusted…I want my Mommy and I want to go home!

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