MIGRANTS

I
got to keep movin’, I’ve got to keep movin’
Blues fallin’ down like hail, blues fallin’ down like hail

Umm mmm mmm mmm
Blues fallin’ down like hail, blues fallin’ down like hail

And the days keeps on worryin’ me,
there’s a hellhound on my trail,
hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail

                       
            –Robert Johnson

 

“Bill, do you seriously expect me to believe that bullets
just go whizzing around Portland
all the time, and it had nothing to do with us?”

Bill set his gaze on me, saying nothing.

“Did a war start in Oregon
when I wasn’t looking?  Is the National
Guard out gunning down insurgents? 
What?”  Behind Bill’s head I saw
the landscape rushing by, full daylight now. 
Green brush and brown fields washed in weak yellow sunshine.

He looked down at his hands.

I sighed.  “Look, what
are we going to do when we get to California?”

“Get off the train, I expect.”  Bill looked up again, his eyes suddenly
watery.

Hours later the train halted with no announcement or
forewarning.  Bill and I descended the
steps and found a single sign without so much as a shelter, much like the
minimal train station I’d departed from. 
The sign read Crossroads, California.

I shaded my eyes with my hand and scanned the buildings
nearby.  There was a candy shop, a newspaper
stand, a convenience store with a painted Indian in the window, and a bar
called The Kitchen.

Turning back, I gasped out loud.  Trains are not small things.  Trains are not quiet things.  But in the scant few seconds I’d spent
looking around, our train had soundlessly and thoroughly departed. 

“Where the hell are we?” 
I put my hands on my hips.

Bill shrugged, setting his white hat on his head.  “Crossroads.”

We picked up a newspaper at the stand.  Bill skipped past the first two sections to
the classified ads.

“What are you doing?” 

“Finding us a place to stay,” he said, flipping pages.

“Can’t we just check into a hotel?”

Bill gestured up the dirt road to the ramshackle houses in
the distance.  “This look like a tourist
town to you?”

It did not.  I brushed
the dust out of my hair as we read the classifieds, finally settling on an ad
for a rooming house offering clean linens and a lemonade porch.  We set off towards the residential part of
town at a slow walk, wrapping our minds around a near future in California with no ocean
in sight.

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16 thoughts on “

  1. RYC: Funny. I didn’t mention religion at all in the argumentation portion of my position. Yet, I assume that because you disagree with my position, you see “religion”. Then, you offered a faulty premise to support the disagreement. I never mentioned repreoduction. But, the leap was made that this was my point. It is not.
    Variations in sexual and asexual reproduction do not occur in every species. If they did, the very nature of the species changes and its taxonomy becomes something else. Are you suggesting homosexuals represent a new species of primate?

  2. Wow, I’m getting involved in the story.  But it keeps stopping!!  Write faster!!  🙂
    ryc:  Um, yeah….it was sort of porn-ish in nature.  I had to wash my eyes and my brain.  🙂   Eeek!  

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