Hitching a Ride to a Dream
This Natchez Trace business has morphed into a series. A lost girl brushes the Trace today. If this is your first visit to the blog, or if you’re catching up, please go back to this post and read forward to digest it whole.
Hitchhikin’ ain’t for sissies. Unless you’re a sissy like me, a stringy-haired hippie chick with a dream of actin’ in New York City. In Natchez, nobody cottoned to my dreams, my as-pir-a-tions. They tole me to settle down. To grow up. To do my duty to my momma and marry a good ole boy, pop out a coupla runts, visit Momma’s house every Sunday for lunch after church. Since the good ole boys worth marryin’ are being shot up in Viet Nam, and the good ole boys whose daddies bought ‘em out of that place are too rich for me, and the hippies I hang out with usually all just want to live in sin, it looks like I won’t be gettin’ married any time soon in Natchez.
And, here’s the other problem with Natchez. My momma lives there. Whores act. That’s what my momma said. My actin’ was like being a hussy. Teasin’ people into believin’ I’m somethin’ I ain’t. Gettin’ them to caress me with their lustful eyes and thoughts of sex.
Even when I played Holy Mary Mother of God in the nativity scene at church, she said this. The first time I said a cuss word in a part, she cried and had to go home and take a shower because my performance made her feel so filthy dirty.
I said the word ‘dang.’ A slang word, I know, but my momma thinks the slang words are just as wicked as the real thing, because the real thing is what everybody hears in their minds.
You understand why I had to get out of that place. Run away. I’m seventeen and everything.
I’m hitchin’ a ride up the Trace to Nashville. Walkin’ through a stinking cypress swamp. Trees risin’ out of their roots in black water. Spanish moss reflected on the still surface. Gators honkin’ a powerful angry background tune against the brush of the wind. This place. This Trace. It gets in your skin, gives you the guts to tread over it into anything.
Even to walk all the way to your dream.