I’m still mired deep in writing, though the treacle has got somewhat less sticky and I can see the end from where I am.
However, for several days now, I’ve had this song stuck in my head:
Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin’ trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.
Good morning America how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your native son,
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.
I know the song echoes of bitterness and all that, but the thing is, I’ve always loved that opening because I’ve always loved early morning America seen from car or bus. The little houses by the side of the highway, the fast foods opening up, traffic slugishly trickling out onto the highway.