Tuesday, June 19, 2007

my days in wellman were numbered: the railroad job didn't work out; i wasn't a natural-born farmer; my bug wasn't legally licensed; i wasn't a mechanic. i drove through amish country often, to visit friends, and looked longingly at the neat and beautiful farms, bountiful land, the product of hard work and healthy lifestyle, but i myself had to move back to town, look for work, be someplace where a car wasn't necessary. i found a house back on muscatine avenue, closer to town than the first place, on a corner, and got some roommates to share it. i.c. was a rake and didn't pay his bills; r.a. was a great guy, and eventually got stuck with them. p.a. was a blues musician, invited whole bars-full of people home at 2 am, to leave their cigarette butts in the plants and greet the dawn on their way home. he and his partner were quite good though; we played blues often, around the half ping-pong table that served as our living-room table, often stained from last night's party. i wasn't a heavy drinker at all then, in fact, i got work at the natural foods bakery, and was going in the other direction, but it was their house too; outside, cars stopped at a stop sign, and gunned it for the last cruise out of town going east; this, we heard constantly.

at the bakery i found some measure of peace, and worked there a while; i was working there when my daughter was born, and felt some pride in turning out fresh loaves of whole-wheat kinds of bread every morning; again i was conservative, against a new mixer, against free-spending ways. i fell in love immediately with my daughter, the minute she was born, but had a hard time being shut out of the situation; in this account i leave out much of this personal anguish, though it was very much a big part of these times. i traveled as constant intermission, whenever i had to move, whenever i changed jobs, whenever i could. i worked for a while at a daycare, as a cook; i worked as a paperboy and a bundle-dropper for the d.m. register. i lived on dodge street, then down on benton street, in a house that had seen better days.

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