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Thursday, September 17, 2009

ILL MUSICAL MADELEINES: The Kinks, "Lola" (c. 2002)


Driving north from Oberlin, Kansas, toward Valentine, Nebraska. I left home just a week before. Rolling dusty green hills broken by quick crevasses filled with saplings and dry streambeds. A few days earlier, at a gas station near Hermann, Missouri, I bought a few tapes to play in the car--Grandpa Jones, Johnny Bond, and The Kinks. Since then, a stop at the pirate house in Lawrence--no one was in so I unbuckled the typewriter, pulled up a cinderblock, and nothing came out. T. was asleep inside, I found out later. I stayed in F.'s mother's room--she was away in Alaska. In the hallway was a box of communal pornography--I contributed marginalia to some of the more interesting articles. We drank beer and talked all night under flashing neon lights. I woke up early, and wandered down to the living room where a train hopper with horns tattooed on his forehead was watching The Rock. I asked his name and in a dark brown voice he said "fuck." I continued west across Kansas, refueled in Junction City, had lunch in wide-boulevarded Russell, and went to the movies in Colby, twenty-five miles short of the Colorado border. It was windy, then, and I turned north toward Atwood and Ludell. The one motel in town was closed for the night, so I parked in the lot and crawled in the back to sleep. Up with the sun again, I passed through Ludell and Oberlin and once again aimed north, heading across western Nebraska toward the Black Hills. When Lo-Lo-Lo-Lo-Lola ends, I rewind the tape to the beginning of the song and let it go again and again.

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