A story where I sound like a Yankee out of water

Among the strange sights that I saw traveling through Tennessee was a car dealership somewhere west of Crossville. No normal car dealership, either -- this particular car dealership was completely overgrown with kudzu vines, so that the only word I could make out was "ealership."

Something about this didn't bode well with me -- for some reason -- and I quickly realized that it was the fact that the cars were overgrown, too, which didn't make a damn bit of sense. Why couldn't someone drive them away? Call me a highbrow city boy, but I was sure kudzu couldn't grow quite that fast.

I turned to the man next to me. Damned if I don't remember his name, but he was a tall, friendly guy, black hair, black skin, a grey beard, on his way home to Corpus Christi. "How does the kudzu grow that fast?"

He took off his headphones. "What?"

"That is kudzu, right? How does it grow that fast, that it overtakes the cars?"

"Oh. The cars don't matter. The owner probably went away for a couple months, or went bankrupt, and when he came back for his assets, the whole place was destroyed." The man I was talking to had picked cotton a few miles from my house, when he was younger, and we were going to the same half of Texas. We therefore shared a deep bond.


"Yeah. That's kudzu for you."

We kept rolling on Route Seventy, past the houses on blocks, the men with Confederate flags on their shirts, the endless stretches of bumpy road. He was sitting comfortably across the aisle, lost in his music and not even looking at the scenery. We'd been on the bus together since D.C., fifteen hours or more, and I hadn't stopped looking out the window at the jagged landscape.

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