WEEKEND EDITION: GREENFIELD, INDIANA
Ty and I took the scenic route to Greenfield. Mucked through the commercialized sprawl to the east until traffic decreased, our speed increased, and we had nothing but pavement before us. It was U.S. Route 40. The “National Road.” The same road that was once made of wooden planks, one after the other. The nauseous racket wagons and carriages would’ve made; I can’t imagine. But, a century and a half later, in a 2009 Chevy, we sped past abandoned homesteads and collapsed barns and vacant hotels. Not everything was forgotten, no, but we still drove the 26 miles to Greenfield in nearly as many minutes. By the time we got there, it was late morning, and winter’s breath encircled us with clouds, wind. The weather hadn’t given up yet, so we took solace in the antique stores. At J.W. Riley’s Emporium, we haunted the second-floor bookshelves. In the rooms with history, nature, and war, Ty found his place. And in the room with the tiger, the rabbit, and the two couches, I found mine. Back outside, Ty flicked ashes off his American Spirit. I was too busy crushing a piece of gravel under my foot to mumble about anything other than the weather. We shared pancakes at the restaurant across the street, talking of Voltaire. And, in the park, we held hands, watched the ducks, and, in the snowy remainders, wiped \mud off our shoes. And it was still cloudy, and it was still windy, and our toes were cold, and our cheeks were flushed, and it was a good day.