• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 10

Getting Out

So you left. So you left the city and went out on your own, left behind the apartment that was freezing cold in winter, left behind the filthy streets, left behind the hypodermic needles that collected in that gulley by the wall where the junkies hid and huddled and shared their treats.

You got out, escape by way of Greyhound, into the bus station past the souvlaki stands, the subway hustlers and street corner pimps.

And as you left the city and stared out at Hell’s Kitchen, you felt a lump in your throat. It was as if you were already looking back on something you’d lost, like being presented a shoebox of photographs someone dug up from your stored belongings, like sitting in a cinema showing a lost and scarred stretch of silent film.

You were gone, out, into the green. All gone to look for America. This was so long ago there were ashtrays in the back of the seats. The air in the back of that bus was blue with cigarette smoke, stank of sweat and cold souvlaki and beer.

And you rode and rode and rode. Out into the west. Out to rest stops and road side diners where no one had ever seen someone like you, where they asked, What you want, honey? And you were just relieved they weren’t downright hostile, there, in the land of blue eye shadow and bouffant hair.

You walked out there with your guitar. Someone asked you, What you play on that? You showed him, showed him the tune you’d been composing, showed him that an electric guitar can play even softer than an acoustic.


Getting Out

You were gone, going, beginning. The air was so clean, and the sound carried so far, you were amazed. This world that you didn’t think existed. You, your backpack, that goddamn mountain of an amplifier you put in the luggage compartment underneath the bus, and the one thing you cradled all the way to LA: your guitar.