Monday, May 18, 2009

a modern oregon trail

its not quite 11 am on the 2nd day of travel as we glide across a bridge connecting two sides of a nation. looking down, the mississippi river appears calm and tranquil in its blue. the friendly green of plants hug its bank.

my mind flickers to an image of a blocky, pixelated conestoga capsizing. its contents spilling out. sad defeating music chirps. the names of fellow 4th grade classmates appear on a rock. clearly the fiord options was incorrect. especially after shooting down that bison. this game is over.

to say that those traveling the real oregon trail struggled is, at the very least, an understatement. yet we just zoomed right over this massive river, effortlessly leaving chicago and the east behind. this modern journey on the oregon trail will thankfully be less eventful than the game appeared. we will not need to restock ammunition in order to pursue shoot out with a squirrel. there is an abundance of subways. jared's gleaming face reluctantly awaits at every exit.

instead of dysentery or typhoid our biggest challenge is consciousness. for this, we ration several gallons of coffee, a staple of adderall, and a bushel of books on tape. i am now wondering what my pioneer ancestors would have thought about the ability to cross the nation in a matter of 3 and a half days. the idea as foreign and ridiculous as jetting your own spacecraft to one of jupiter's galilean moons for a weekend getaway. i hear the space golf and anti-gravitational facials are great there.

in the here and now our path intertwines with the historic trail. cruise control on, staring out the window, i settle down to view america: the middle part...

emily cobb. open road 3x5" pen on paper

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