Good Friday, Driving West Tennessee
The road here gives way to river, rail and ridge, obeying the vagaries of creek and clay hill, coiling close like a long familiar lover in the dead of winter, passing through pineforests frozen in the act of regeneration.
The towns are occasional, and of a proper size, that even reduced speed does not falsely magnify: baitshop, bbq, gas, hardware, feedstore- and to satisfy the urge to congregate: the chapel and dance hall.
And you are tempted to think that here are the last good people left on earth, but the road passes on before the thought sticks, passing other roads that turn quickly out of sight like questions that are asked but never answered.
After Reelfoot Lake the road climbs a ridge like a snake easing up a rock; there are no cars to speak of and the pavement gently sways beneath the vehicle- the road invites this kind of recklessness as you can feel infinity just around the next bend and come at last to know that you will never die.
copyright 2001 Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC All rights reserved