Stranger in a Strange Land

by Sophie Allerdings

I left my house as the sun was setting, driving out of a sunset and into the reddish dusk that turned into gloaming, windows down, sneaking glances at the brilliant sunset illuminating the hills to my west, now visible as a chain of ragged teeth against a darkening sky. Smallish, older houses huddle up next to the road as if for protection from being completely forgotten; not much happens here. This is Route-66 territory, though that forgotten road runs far south of here; this is Colorado before money moved in, resolutely holding out against prairie palaces and golf courses. Silos dot the landscapes reminiscent of the area's past and dwindling present as a farming community. Cattle feedlots and fields, tractors and "home," bygones of the world following the Goldrush and the Cattle Kings as tenacious remnants of another era; it feels as if I'm Steinbeck out to discover the country in which I was born and know little about. Glitzy strip malls and truck stops the size of small towns tempt the weary, like Homer's Sirens, or at least Kafka's - for these are silent - into stopping for lukewarm coffee and the dismal but somehow comforting ubiquitous fried food: I resist their call and drive on, for I have miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.


Sophie Allerdings is four steps from somewhere. She was born in the wrong country, likes train stations, airplanes, and any sort of adventure involving a foreign language. She lives in Colorado and Germany. You may visit her here.


Madam Z said...

Sophie, you have described beautifully the feelings I have had, while driving through the midwestern prairie.

Joe said...

Wonderful narrative prose capturing the American West. Great job, Sophie!

Harry said...

Thanks for the post card Sophie. You should have stopped at that truck stop though. Next time by it's likely to be an Applebees. Very nice!

Jp said...

Beautiful description. I'm a sucker for anything that uses the word "gloaming."