AUGUST 22, 1997
  Next Week  
Word Wanderlust
(On the Road in Literary America)

Intrepid writer Amy Halloran is traveling from Seattle to Maine. Until September, Halloran's weekly journal covers lit. culture (and roadside attractions) across the U.S.A.

 | journal three |  
8.21.97 The Adrian Mold book is gone and so is my
diary style of thinking. I can't divide the days anymore so I'll just begin here and go backwards. I got up early this morning to woman my sister's jewelry booth at a crafts fair at the empire state plaza in albany NY. This fair is called a foodfest, which galls me. Why can't anyone use full words anymore?  
The Adrian Mold book is gone and so is my diary style of thinking.

This is the state capitol. Imagaine what other shortcuts are being taken. The workers all look at me as I waltz to the bathroom because I am something different. The grunge of these "new" marble buildings is reassuring. I used to be appalled by the gaudy novelty of this place, thinking of the building sthat were destroyed, all 20 city blocks, to edify stupidity. I think I thought my thoughts could cahnge things, destroy Nelson A. Rockefeller's stale vision of a future and resurrect the remnants of a past I romanticize because it resembled what I knew as a kid: brick and brownstone buildings with stone lintels around their windows, sidewalks to the front and side of the house, aiming for foreboding front doors.
In the west I miss the buildings the most.
  In the west I miss the buildings the most. Older architecture not only has more style but it contributes to a sense of place. I am happy when I am here, where I am from, to be where a lot of people have been before me. Of course, the abundance of history dictates an overbearing sense of tradition, which I had to escape to behave in a way that wasn't rebellious. Every time I come back east I think more of staying.

There are things I love about Seattle but in my 7 years there I have never felt at home. I always have one foot out the door. I can't imagine what I would do here, but I can imagine returning.

8.17.97 Over the weekend I went to Maine. Ate lobster on a wharf - the quintescentially Maine event. Those in the know toted wine or beer as the shacks selling seafood couldn't get a license. We sat there, dry and staring at the living museum of New England in the summer. People on vacation from other places, and locals, tagged by preppiness that looks exactly like the pages of the Preppy Handbook. I could not believe their Izod shirts and docksiders. I was awed by their presumed ease. I bet the only discomfort they experience is childbirth and hangovers.

Middle aged men we met were reading new age books by Deprok Chopra and old age inspirationals by James Allen. My sister is reading "Angela's Ashes." My father is writing editorials about having to pay for toll roads that are in repair.  
I need to catch up
on the rules of the
mating road.
I am reading "Last Dates," a book I got at the Salvation Army. I need to catch up on the rules of the mating road.

--   Wandering Reader
Amy Halloran


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