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August 09, 2003

Jesus Jenny

Went back to Texas on December 24, depressed as hell. Picked up a couple of teens, boy- and girlfriend, hitching on US 57 in Illinois. They were running away (as it turned out), financing their escape to New Orleans by selling acid.

Very bad acid, apparently. The girl was trying to sleep in the back but kept waking up, with small brown men crawling out of her vagina and ears, scrambling all over her, pinching and tearing. I got the impression the little men looked like the primitives from Escher prints... she would wake, fight them off, sleep, wake, sleep. But once, they wouldn't go away. I "asked" her beau if maybe he didn't want to go back there and smooth her out, talk to her, help her. He said, "Huh?...Oh sure," called to her, and when she sat up, getting closer to him, he backhanded her; knocked her out cold. Then he turned back to me and tried to sell me some of the acid. Right.

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August 06, 2003


We were two days in Texas. My friend David and I had set out from Michigan with no clearer mission than escaping the great Northern Recession of 1974, aftermath of the Arab oil embargo. We were equipped with one car each, sharing $80 in cash and $80 in food stamps, a few bags of books and a desire.... We had seen Atlas shrug, up north. Now we wanted to be kidnapped by John Galt. Fueled by the Texas oil boom, lubricated by our dreams of unfettered, honest work, we slid down through the Interstate system like shit through a goose.


Our first view of Texas was a city on the eastern boundary of the state called Beaumont. The brown sky, the unusually large mosquitoes -- we could have easily mistaken the countryside for New Jersey. Beaumont is a chemical town. A "primary chemical" town. Here raw earth and rock are rendered into elements and simple compounds. Where in Michigan you would see railroad cars announcing yet another load of "Cotton from the King of the South" or a tanker of "hydrochloroflourocarbon-24" out of Midland, the rails in Beaumont carry gondolas loaded with "Methane" and "Sulfur." While the rest of the nation's factories push the electronic heroin and V-8 cocaine of industrial society, Beaumont deals in 21st century poppies and coca leaves.

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