puttin your own child in that car and other poems


My apologies for the tour diary delay. We took a weekend break in Atlanta. I drove around with Blake. He lives in an old mill. His mailbox is a thresher. We invented a domestic post-apocalypse survival real-time strategy video game. Later, Natalie and Blake invented a cereal restaurant called Cereal Killer, which is also a Method Man track. Jamie Iredell made amazing food for all of us the entire weekend: chicken liver pate, homemade ice cream, excellence all around. Jamie said hanging out with Blake all the time is like listening to the same part of the same rap song over and over. Blake said "not like—is," but this is mostly because Blake and Jamie have disagreements about figurative language. Atlanta also marked the arrival of Seth Landman, would later turn out to be quite a savior.

The reading at the Beep Beep Gallery went amazingly well. Amy McDaniels's dog looked like a pillow and kept sitting gracefully in my lap. One of Blake's childhood friends who never comes to readings came to the reading. He had a good time. The air conditioning didn't work, but Blake, Jamie, and Amy gave very generous introductions. We sold a ton of books in Atlanta. Later we had breakfast at a Flying Biscuit. They had some very nice raspberry jam.

I rode with Seth Landman to Raleigh. We listened to the Wu Tang Clan and James Taylor. It's hard to remember what the drive was like, but I do remember stopping at a Bojangles and seeing interesting road signs, such as Dinwitty County, maybe. It's interesting how the roadsigns get more embellished in the South, like the signs say "THERE IS FOOD AT THE NEXT STOP" instead of just "FOOD." I might be making that up.

Chris Tonelli met up with us in Raleigh, and we had Lebanese food with him, his wife Allison, and their son Miles. Miles was very cute, but he tried to drink Chris's whiskey, which was funny. Many of Chris's students came to the reading. One of his students asked Natalie what a stag is. The same student asked me if I have more action figures at home. I stayed up late with Chris talking about publishing and poetry, and I felt we had a very good conversation. Chris made an excellent point about the difference between humor that disappears like balloon gas and humor that is a form of rescuing from silence.

The next morning is when all the fun started. I wish time machines were real! Rachel asked me if I wanted to drive the first shift or the second. First, I said. We were driving out of Raleigh when suddenly a two lane road turned into a two lane road with cars parked in the right lane, which was the lane we were in. So I tried to get over to the left, but there was a car behind me and no one was letting me over to the left, and I got too close to the truck parked in front of me. When I tried to veer over into the left lane, I clipped the truck. Rachel's light got messed up; her bottle of washer fluid broke. The truck's bumper fell a little. We got out. We discovered that there were two plumbers sitting in the parked truck. They were very nice about everything. "I've been saying for years people shouldn't park here," said one. We asked them if they were okay. "We're fine," they said. "More shook up than a hooker in church, but we're fine." The police came. We took Rachel's car to a body shop. It was drivable. We kept driving to Charlottesville.

Background: my family did not have a car growing up, and I only learned to drive in 2007. I hate driving, and now I feel like I never want to drive again in my life, but Natalie says that these things happen to people all the time, and that the solution is to drive more, not less. Seth Landman pointed out that Barack Obama would not find this "fender bender" that big a deal.

The drive to Charlottesville was beautiful, and I saw a toy boat full of kudzu.


Sala said...

Mike !!! You are good look :) eiei

ps.I bookmarked this blog.

Ben Latini said...

The credit for "Cereal Killer" belongs to Method Man AND Redman.

Dreadymoongurl said...

Like your tour blog Mike! Glad you had fun and sold a lot of books! Yay! When are you sending me one?? :) Don't worry about the fender bender... at least everyone was cool about it. Btw, I passed my test yesterday yay! :)

Mike Young said...

sala, thank you for the bookmarking and the flattery

2070801, i stand corrected

holly, congrats on your license! i will send you a book soon