On a freezing morning, southbound near Kinderhook, the home of Martin Van Buren, you might be surprised to find that your car windows would be frozen shut so as you approach the toll terminal you are screaming expletives, trying to hold onto change while shoving the door open with your shoulder to drop the toll in the receptacle, not spilling your coffee in your lap or splashing the radio. The Choctaw red haired toll lady bites on her lip, breathing out steam. You might imagine her in wilder times marching out of the charming southern sunshine, skin as lush as citrus. You might imagine her legs rolling through a stream as wide as Mississippi, letting the water rush between them. But you can’t have all that time to bask in something that was. All those wild days are gone, way back when Mormons got exterminated and capitol negroes lived in the slave house where they belonged, according to some heritage songs. Old Kinderhook, the first American President was born not too far. The change drops in to pay the toll lady. On a freezing morning you might wish you stayed Texas but Texas is a cyclone of rabid polaroids you took when polaroids gave a kick to hollar and whoop up but now bite at your heels and got you all ate up.


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