Notes for ‘A million miles away in Fishkill’

Day 97 of Formulating a Plan

A man pushing seventy over a cliff… adrift… Dodge Charger… 300 hp… charging…

Interstate 87… Interstate 84… Route 9… Mid-Hudson Bridge… Route 9W.

No fixed address, weekly rate motels, extended stay hotels, $100 a night, $3,000 a month, not that much more than $2,000 rent plus $600 in utilities he was paying for apartment in overpriced Piermont (don’t do the math).

No utilities now, no lease, the freedom of that; no landline, just a cellphone to take calls from puzzled relatives.

Where the hell are you?

I’ll tell you when I see the next sign.

You’re too old for this, dude.

Next day back on the road, you could say lost, Bob Dylan whining from the stereo, Once upon a time you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime in your prime… How does it feel, to be without a home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone…

He’s not reliving an adolescent lifestyle, he really is lost; although when he thinks about it, lost has been found and now found is lost. Write that down, old man. Instead, that midnight in a gin and tonic, he writes down, A dying man dreams. Some are beautiful. And then they stop.

In the Turnpike Tap Room an even older man inquires, Is one ever too old to be a struggling writer? To which the younger old man replies, Is one ever too old to die? The old drunk is looking for his brain. I’m not sure I understand your meaning. The younger old man can no further elaborate than put flesh on the older old man’s bones.

New York City is never more than a three-hour drive away, but in towns like Colonie and Cohoes and Coxsackie (gotta love the name) it might as well be a million miles… blah blah blah…

He ends up in a village called Fishkill. I’ll go crazy here. What the hell will I do? —This is the guy talking to his Charger. I’m less than two hours from New York City, so how come I feel I’m a million miles away?

First of all, you are crazy—(this is his Charger piping up)—and second of all, you will write.

What will I write?

‘A million miles away in Fishkill,’ dummy.

Blah blah blah…