Wednesday, January 30, 2013

last night a tornado touched down in ware, illinois, which set off an old memory of mine that was probably better off undisturbed. ware is a nowhere kind of town, but it's along the river and it's on the way to cape from where we used to live. it was a site of a very disturbing piece of history, the trail of tears, but i don't know so much about that, and in fact have never been off the road in ware. the road comes through ware and you don't even see many houses.

but i have this memory of another town, which i believe was also called ware, and when i was driving through that town one lonely night, that town had a lot of houses out by the highway, and a dog came out to bark at my car as i was barely even slowing down for the houses. i hit the dog, and i could hear it, but the dog ran off. i stopped the car but was unable to find it. some people were in my car but i can't remember who.

now the heck of it is, my memory places this town in kansas. but i can't for the life of me find a ware, kansas, or remember where the town was. i'm not sure it was called ware although somehow, that's how i remembered it. but in my mind, i replay hitting the dog a lot, maybe in my dreams. it's a recurring dream.

there is no ware, kansas. there's a ware iowa and a ware mass. but i never lived anywhere near either of them. the one in iowa, i could have driven through once. it's way out in western iowa, on a back road, but it is a row of houses. could that be the one?

somehow when i encountered ware illinois i thought of that place, and my memory of that poor dog was kept alive. i knew it wasn't the same ware, because ware illinois has no houses on the road. when i heard about the historic tragedy of ware illinois - people dying by the river, because it was winter, and they couldn't cross, i thought, this is a tragic place. illinois is beautiful down there, by the river, tucked into the bluffs and all.

as a kid i had a dog who ventured out into the street once and got hit. scared, he ran all the way across the city, and that was uncharacteristic of him, but someone found him, because luckily he had tags, and we got him back. when he came home he licked his wounds a lot and didn't go out as much. he kind of got the wind taken out of his sails. i felt bad because naturally, i thought maybe i could have prevented it. now that we have only one dog, i'm getting along with her fine; we go out to the porch and throw the toy a lot. she'll fetch for ten, maybe twenty minutes until she wears out. she's never been hit that i know of. we live on a busy street, though. maybe in the back of my mind, i'm replaying a reel. town of ware.

i think maybe it's that one in iowa. that's a whole state full of scenic little turns in the road, that are blazed away like a branding iron in people's hearts. it's just the way it is. you sleep by a window of any kind, your soul will end up out there in iowa, reliving something.


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