I didn’t really want to stop driving until I stopped seeing North Carolina license plates. That began occurring in Tennessee. (Tennessee ain’t no joke! It’s some hard living in parts of Tennessee. I think Memphis is still might be the murder capital of America.)
Anyway, my old buddy Stan insisted I stay at his place a few days. It’s not good to break the rhythm of the road once you establish it, but Stan is a unique guy … Navy vet who went through some of the roughest “Life” the streets offers before changing directions and becoming the self-proclaimed, “best therapist at the best hospital in Cincinnati.”
I learned a lot in North Carolina… and missed a lot. Everything seemed to be about sex and power there. “Does might make right?” Just as Polemarchus divided the world into friends and enemies (… and so did George Bush…) so do the “traditional,” cliquish people of North Carolina. They demanded authenticity but little.
The tone and variety of music coming out of the truck’s radio broadened as the skyline of a “real” city grew larger in my windshield. Stan now has a Masters Degree and combines the hard lessons of the streets with clinical psychology. Seeing as there is “no normal,” Stan is a good friend to have. Travel can be both a way of hiding and a way path for growth. I learned lessons in the Southeast that I want to integrate into my life… and Stan helped me process things that at this age I should strive to integrate… and others I should flush.
He took me to a Cincinnati landmark. The Alabama Fish Bar is located on 1601 Race Street on the corner of Liberty Street, downtown Cincinnati. It serves only three kinds of fish… and often they’re down to two simple choices. Everything is take-out and the portions are large.