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.