August 28, 2009

Heading Home

Using the same road, I cut through five different towns in thirty minutes--Sandusky, Perkins, Milan, Avery, and Norwalk.

In Sandusky it was surrounded by old residential houses, with a rundown recession look to them. The buildings were mostly white and decrepit, except for the Firelands hospital. That building preened its pristine glass windows at the neighboring hovels, a skyscraper among bamboo huts. Then I passed the hospital and the road split into two.

Perkins started at Perkins St., a heavily congested road that intersected with another. The way was packed with Cedar Point tourists bustling about to get to cheap restaurants before heading back to the roller coast of Ohio. I passed a fellow CP employee blasting his music out of his red sports car, and a mom shouting at her children to stop hitting each other. Bikers roared by, turning in front of traffic moments before the light turned red. Both lanes were backed up past three lights. Most cars got into the right lane to get around the traffic heading to the mall, but I knew better than that. The right lane headed to the highway.

After crossing underneath the highway, the speed increased from 40mph to 55mph. Cars heading to the turnpike jumped ahead of the pack, mine among them. We were in Milan now. Nothing but plains and trees as far as the eye could see. The only major building was Kalahari Resorts, a dangling limb of Sandusky that vied for the tourist's attraction. An indoor water park simulating the hot African savanna. So out-of-place compared to its countryesque, cornfield surroundings.

Then the wheels change their tune as they crossed a wide bridge, heading into Norwalk. They hummed. Countryside gained more and more buildings until it became a large town. A post office sprouted up, and then a bank, followed by a small grocery store. The city library napped right across from a local auto-repair shop. The Office Bar, home of the best Karaoke in town, was just down the street from Brian's Buffet, the best Chinese buffet in town.

Swinging with the rhythm of the tires, the turtle-shaped air freshener exuded an intense scent of artificial sea. Boxes in the back shifted as the car stopped abruptly at a light, knocking one of them over with a loud thud. Whistles from the air filter and the sputtering of the exhaust pipe echo the car's new song. I am home, it said. The light turned green and the tail lights flared out like red butterfly wings. I am home.

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