Of late, I have been working in the Poconos. Everything about the Poconos is a misnomer. They are called mountains, THE Mountains, by most Philthadelphians and New Joykers. But they are at best, foothills. The only reason they probably sidestepped that label was the lack of any genuine articles over their shoulders for people to skip over them to goggle at. It doesn't end with geography though. Every clump of cabins, shacks and hovels are called Estates. Every hotel with a putt-putt and waterslide is a Resort. Actually the Resorts might be the only names around here that possess a kernel of truth. If one accepts the alternate meaning of the action of turning to and adopting a strategy or course of action, especially a disagreeable or unpleasant one, so as to resolve a difficult situation, that is. The whole place just has the look of a run-down movie set for a white trash zombie flick that may or may not have ever gotten made.
Sure the work has been lonely, nasty and unrewarding; spending long days in a dank, dark crawlspace in dirt, filth and rotting fiberglass that are probably agitating my chest cold. Sure, I’m trying to fix up a pre-fab house that appears to have been assembled by the three stooges, maintained by someone who firmly believed in the Bugblatter Beast Philosophy of: if you can’t see it, it isn’t real and is ten years beyond it’s shelf-life. Sure, it’s rained most of the time I’ve been here and today, the first time I had a moment, pilfered really, to sit in the sun and write, I was immediately discovered by a swarm of gnatskitos and a pack of puginese yap-hounds. Sure, there’s no running water, no shower, no way to wash hands, face or dishes. Sure I spend two or three nights a week here now away from hearth, home and holly, sleeping on either the floor or my woodpile.
But the two hour drive up here, framed on either side by rolling foothills packed solid with autumn leafy things all the colors of the MnM's in the faithful jar at my side and WHUT slingin' its eccentric mix on the crackily ol’ jukebox reminds me that in my humble, pointless opinion, journeys are a heck of a lot better than destinations. Just hope now that I live long enough and strong enough to retire to that motorbike and tent someday and prove it.