it’s difficult to get off the roads

our destination: nowhere places built for the purpose of motels and petrol stations. the backside of America plastered with numbing highways, escape routes? what lies beyond the isolated island of sharp skyscrapers, gigantic mirrors cutting down the sky… beyond the transience of New York, bright lights and the PR-related affluence floating around in half-hidden bars in Brooklyn? it was raining when we left Manhattan, tears pouring from the holes in the sky, from freshly cut up cloud-wounds, drowning the streets and flushing last night’s shame off the pavements. traffic lights trickling downtown through the gutters.

we got on a bus to Albany, NY, and admired the scenery of a stolen land, taken and turned into roads that continue to spread all over like expanding asphalt tentacles. [in another semi-dead town we went to the local art gallery and discovered an exhibition devoted solely to The Inner Loop – the surrounding highway. we looked at paintings of traffic signs, roundabouts and road turnings, not knowing whether to laugh or break down and die.]

Kathy Acker says it’s difficult to get off the roads in America.

Albany is ghostlike and grey, eerily quiet like the opening sequence of an apocalyptic zombie film. sleepy homeless eyes watched us getting lost among derelict churches of the apostolic faith and fort-like FBI buildings. dragging our damp suitcases behind us we wandered through empty, identical streets, feeling the out-of-place excitement/paranoia numbing our insides as if something bad might happen. distanced from the situation like it’s an illusion, a construction on a screen.

a man began following us, big-bodied with a funny walk and a cracked loud voice, slightly insane. our panic grew and in desperation we hitched a ride with a stranger wearing pilot sunglasses and a black cowboy hat. he invited us to one of his blues gigs but we politely declined, bought dinner from a nearby petrol station, barricaded ourselves in the motel room and turned on the TV. windows locked, curtains closed, we fell asleep next to each other like three sisters on the run from a repressive community of Twin Peaks-like strangeness.