Dear South Dakota,
I was wrong about you. You’re not boring. You’re charming. Your signs advertising your useless and kitschy shit? Amazing. Your endless farmland, your anti-abortion billboards, your roadkill–all of it, delightful. I’ve come to this retrospective conclusion because I drove through Indiana today. And then I drove through Ohio. These, my dear friend South Dakota, are the wastelands of the country. Not you. So I take back what I said about you earlier. I didn’t mean it. I was having a bad day. It was my blood-sugar. I swear.
I was going to stop in Toledo for the night, but when I’d arrived I realized that I had absolutely no desire to spend any more time in central Ohio than absolutely necessary. So I kept driving. I kept driving until it got dark, and I started getting drowsy. Then I pulled off in Youngstown, Ohio, got a hotel. Sixty bucks. Whatever. I can shower. I can watch television. I can go for a swim in the morning and get a free continental breakfast. And then I can drive to New York City. Where God knows what will go down.
Today was tolls. At least twenty dollars worth of them. Maybe more. I can’t remember. Illinois has the screwiest ones. $1.60 here, $0.80 there, $0.40 somewhere else. No sense. None whatsoever. Especially considering the roads. Herewith:
Dear Illinois, your roads are horseshit. Do something about it.
Then came Indiana. Wow. Indiana. Indiana’s roads are good, as they should be, since they charge you $6.75 just to drive through their shitty, shitty state.
Next comes Ohio. I’m in the hole $9.25 to Ohio. Their roads are tolerable. But Indiana’s are better.
Suck it, Ohio!
Fuck ’em all.
So now I’m in a hotel, and I can smoke cigarettes in my room, which I’ve been doing religiously since I got here. I just watched Bill Maher. He had Paul Krugman and Eliot Spitzer on. Whatever.
My mind is numb. The rust belt is hundreds of miles of doldrums.
There is nothing to do here.