the best thing i ever read written by a peer was a story in the annual csb/sju artist and writer publication, lower stumpf lake review. the last essay in the book of black and white art projects and senior creative writing poems was a long-ish essay about a 22-year-old and his car, which he affectionately named blue balls. i was so enamored by the story that i sent it to my dad to read, despite the questionable name of the car.
i have since striven to write to that level. the only thing i know that could possibly come close is my tale of a porta-potty, which i rank as one of my best pieces of writing.
the thing is, i haven’t read blue balls’ story in years. perhaps the level or writing is not as great as i remember, or maybe the content was what really grabbed me, as it revolved around roadtrips.
i got a subscription to national geographic from liz for christmas last year, which i really enjoy. as such, i read a lot about climate change, which is freaking me out (we’re going to lose the loon in MN and the current drought in the southwest is a huge thing – huge), but what i really like to read are the stories about places i’d like to go. this latest issue had an essay and photo essay on chernobyl, one place that really intrigues me. i’d like to go to machuu picchu some day. europe fascinates me.
i’d love to go to these places, but the money issue is a huge factor. i can barely scrape enough cash together to go to the black hills this spring (which i am NOT complaining about! ha!).
so i sit here and think, what did i spend my money on that i could have saved instead to take me to ukraine to check out the radioactive ruins? stuff for my house. a garden in the back. hopefully a deck next spring.
i’m really a homebody, when it comes down to it. i love going places, visiting people, thinking about where to travel; but nothing beats walking in your red door at the end of it all and being in the place where you spend the majority of your time.
literally, just now, i tromped downstairs to my three boxes of yet unpacked books where i knew i would find the blue balls story. true enough, “blue balls, rambo, and the open road” by john steingraeber in 1998.
(i had done a prodigious search online to no avail. apparently searching “blue balls csb sju” will result in some weird, science-y faculty blogs.)
he speaks of his navy VW rabbit (“blue”), truck stops, wall drug, and the road. it’s lovely.
“and maybe, dear reader, maybe i’ll swing by your house, because the road never ends – you just have to figure out how to get around the place where it stops.”
may we all have a blue; better yet, may we all have a place to park blue.