15 July 2006

The Road Goes Ever On and On

If I could have been born any person in any period in history and any set of circumstances, I would have been a hobo during the Great Depression. I would have been Roger Miller's King of the Road. I would have been Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. I would have been a union organizer (or agitator, depending on your viewpoint). I would have hopped onto freighters and gone as far as they'd take me or the "railroad bulls" would allow. I might have strummed a guitar and sung sad songs. I would have eaten beans out of a can and warmed myself (and my beans) by a garbage can fire on a river bank. I would have been Godfrey, before he became Carol Lombard's "Man." I would have been Veronica Lake's love interest in Sullivan's Travels. I would have been Gary Cooper in Meet John Doe.

I would have been free. I would have learned the life of the road and the lessons of all the world would have been mine for the taking. I would have carried all my belongings in a kerchief tied to a stick over my shoulder, maybe a worn ukelele under my arm. I would have layered news headlines in my shoes to cover the holes in the soles. I would probably have been felled at a young age by drink or murder or consumption but I would have been happy.

I would have been a hobo. Either that or I would have been Willa Cather.

How about you?

Technorati tags: life / self-awareness / wishes


At July 15, 2006 11:40 AM, Blogger Mocha said...

You keep proving over and over again why we need to live closer together, honey.

I adore "My Man Godfrey" and Willa Cather and am taken in by the hypnotic scent of the hobo lifestyle. As a kid, that's what I wanted to be! I carried around a stick and a bandana attached to it. I know. Not really the same thing.

At July 15, 2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Cheryl said...

But it felt like the same thing when I was 6 and decided a life on the road was the life for me. I packed up my few, little things, tied them in a handkerchief on a stick and trudged off up the street.

Unfortunately, I wasn't permitted to cross the street alone, even on the green light, so my hobo life came to an untimely end.

Maybe it's not too late to become a hobo yet. I have this kernel of an idea about traveling the world to various islands, having brief, torrid affairs with 20- or 30-something men at each port. Do-able, dontcha think? ; )


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