February 14, 2019

Georgia Rain


Nice night in The Palmetto State a.k.a. northern South Carolina, a state where I’ve met the friendliest people...my car broke down the next day and I got towed to an auto repair shop in Spartanburg...they were closing and couldn’t fix my car that day...it’d have to wait until tomorrow—what a drag...I was telling the counterman guy my woes and sorwoes and he offered to take me to a hotel down the street...not too far but far enough that I couldn’t walk or drag an old brown luggage that I borrowed from a friend and was starting to look like it was on its last legs...or wheels as it was I guess...it really needed a wheelchair...and I had my dog with me too...so the guy drove me there and told me he’d call me the next day when the car was fixed and would come pick me up...and he did!...his name was Francisco and he was a really good guy and one of the nicest people I ever met and went way beyond what he had to do...I sure as hell wouldn’t have given some stranger a ride in my car to a hotel, but then that’s me and my sorry-ass misanthropic attitude...I told him that if he was ever in Florida, look me up and I’d show him around...broken down between exits—trees and grass, grass and trees…now here I am again on the road again and driving through Georgia and it’s starting to rain...no, not rain, pour...like somebody’s got a big plastic bucket and they’re holding it over you and just dumping the water...a downright downpour and my wipers are in a manic frenzy trying to keep up with the down...Valdosta, Tifton, and Cordele...I’ve been through Georgia many times and it don’t matter what town I’m in, it’s raining...well they got some mighty fine fried chicken and apple pie ala mode at the Ramada Inn or at least used to years ago...it was a real nice restaurant complete with southern charm and a charming waitress with a sweet southern accent out of the movies and I half expected a gentleman of the south to come out and dine with me…you know a gentleman of leisure...one of those guys who is of independent means and doesn’t need to work...a man who is free from the duties and responsibilities of everyday life...elegant, cultured, and most assuredly rich, he’d be wearing a seersucker suit and a big old plantation hat and probably smoking a big old cigar...the kind of guy who orders scotch and then regales his evening’s company with stories, a raconteur of renown...it’s pouring when I stop to get something to eat...when I’m inside the rain lightens up and I’m thinking that maybe it’s clearing up and it does until I get back in the car and hit the road...the drops get bigger and the radio gets softer and the wipers start going crazy again...still raining...Macon, Forsythe, Mc Donough...it don’t matter what town because the rain gods have got it in for me...finally a stop for the night and in my hotel room I hear a long train whistle over the sound of my creaky air conditioner that I got on full blast to drown out all the other sounds...the train is somewhere out there in the night or maybe it’s just a ghost...I don’t actually hear the train going by, but I hear the whistle a few more times and then like an old soldier, it just fades away...then I hear the sound of rain again on the roof...I know how somebody got the idea for the song ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’--great song--I finally crash because I gotta get an early start in the morning...the alarm goes off and I wake up with the air conditioner still bumping and grinding and the omnipresent rain...I get my stuff and run out to the car...there’s no let up...outskirts of Atlanta and it’s still raining like a 19th century French King and there ain’t nothing I can do about it because I’m just a pauper...and it’s crazy because this always seems to happen whenever I got to drive through Georgia to get to Florida or to get to Chicago or to get to wherever I got to get to...why you always rain on me Georgia?...you got something against me?