Friday, December 01, 2006

Traveling Man

A few days ago, I loaded a bunch of my crap into a mini-van and drove it from my hometown of Cleveland to my tiny new apartment in scenic New York City with my friend Mike. He’s the guy in the photo above. That’s him just pulling the van out of his driveway (like a pro, I might add). I’ve known Mike for about ten years now and he is a great friend and an excellent driver. He also used to take care of race horses and police horses, so if I ever have any questions about horses in general (and I do, I do), I just ask Mike and he breaks it down for me. For example, did you know that horses like carrots? It’s true!

Anyway, Mike and I have driven back and forth between New York and Cleveland a bunch of times before with my legendary rock band Uptown Sinclair and Mike has got all the gas stations and truck stops mapped out in his brain like some sort of zen master or something. For example, when we are passing through Youngstown, which is right on the Ohio border for the most part, we always stop at Truck World, which may very well be the greatest truck stop in North America as best I can tell. That’s Mike standing in front of the Truck World sign above. He seems content. And then the photo below that is me standing in front of the doors right before you go into Truck World. There is a welcome sign on the window so you know that all sorts of good times are waiting for you as soon as you pass through the doors that are right next to the welcome sign.

Inside of Truck World, they have pretty much everything you’d ever need for any occasion, which is really convenient if you find yourself out on the road and realize you left your dreamcatcher or gun polish at home by accident. They also have hot dogs, which is great for someone like me who really likes hot dogs. Also at Truck World, they have a fairly extensive assortment of very large knives for sale. This is really really great if you find yourself in the middle of a road trip and realize you need to cut some rope or stab someone or something. You might not be able to see it in the picture above, but the knives are priced to move. You can get a pretty sweet knive for about ten bucks. Not too shabby if you ask me, a guy who really knows his knives and other objects that can be used for both practical purposes and violence.

After we stopped at Truck World, Mike and I drove through the popular McDonald’s restaurant (not literally though! Ha!) and loaded up. I got the popular Big Mac value meal. I eat McDonald’s maybe once or twice a year, so when I do I really like to go for it. That is just one more example of my “all or nothing” approach to life. Mike got the Chicken Selects. What’s up with that bullshit?

Once we got the McDonald’s secured into our gastrointestinal system, Mike and I got back to putting the miles behind us. Mike did 99% of the driving since he is an excellent driver and I am not so much. This freed me up to take pictures, sleep, and make insightful observations about life on the road and stuff. The picture above is of the view outside the passenger seat window. It really gives you a taste for the road if you ask me. It’s really different out there. Trust me- I am a man who knows the loneliness of the road. She is a cruel mistress.

Since we got kind of a late start, it got dark while we were still driving and Mike adapted accordingly by turning the headlights on. And as you can see from the picture above, Mike is just as incredible at driving at night as he is at driving during the day. Really, I don’t know how he does it sometimes. He is like some kind of tobacco-chewing superhero or something. As for me, all this watching Mike drive was making me sleepy, so I got some coffee at one of the many rest stops Mike has mapped out in his brain. The picture above is of me sitting there drinking the coffee. I know, it’s almost like you were there.

By about 9 o’clock we finally pulled into the Big City and- after dragging all my crap up to my new apartment- we headed out onto the town for some food and fun at the Jane Street Tavern, which- as the name suggests- is located on Jane Street in the scenic West Village, the classy neighborhood in which I now sleep and keep all my crap. Anyway, at the Jane Street Tavern, I had chicken wings and Mike had fish-n-chips, which only serves to further the notion that when it comes to meal time, Mike prefers animal parts that have been deliciously breaded and fried.

Dave Hill


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Mike seems like a damn good man. Truck World looks amazing too. I liked the "no guns" sign near to the welcome sign. No wonder they sell knives inside the store, who wants to go shopping when their feeling vulnerable? Also some pretty nifty-looking furniture you've got there. I presume you decorated it yourself?

8:07 PM  

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