Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dug Gap to Hurricane Mountain

Setting out in the snow

6.5 miles (plus 24 miles hitched/yellow-blazed)

One of the movies I watched in town was "Roadhouse," one of those 80s classics with Patrick Swayze in a mullet. It seemed to be making a comeback, like all the rest of that 80s crap. Even Kelly Lynch, in the movie, wears those fantastic faux tortoiseshell glasses that all the Brooklyn hipsters are sporting these days. The coolest thing in the movie is how Dalton, our titular hero, shows up in town and in three scenes has a job, a car, and an apartment over a ranch, just like that. Actually, the coolest thing in the movie is Sam Elliott, but he's the coolest thing in any movie he's in, "Big Lebowski" included. Just like Gregory Peck.

I digress. So coming through Chatsworth, on a little Family-Dollar town in the middle-of-nowhere Georgia, made me think about how easy it'd be to do it just like Dalton. There's a 1980 Chevy Nova down the street, the next lot over. A flea market on the other side of our cheap motel. A "mature lady" who posted a room to let sign at the bulletin board of the grocery store. All I'd need is a job at a roadhouse.

I guess it's one of the major reasons why I love these kinds of trips. I love imagining the kind of life I could lead in any one of these little towns. Maybe it's one of those things I love because all of Americana is still so exotic to me. I'm sure kids who grow up here can't wait to get out and move to the big cities of Chattanooga and Atlanta. But for me, these small towns have the same exotic allure that most Americans feel for the rural villages of France, or Thailand.

Small town movies remind me of that. Especially ones where a stranger comes to town and changes everything. I always want to be that mysterious stranger, who moves into old lady Vann's place and teaches yoga at the community center and writes novels.

I am the traveler. That is why I'm in these towns. I'm the stranger that brings in the story. And the traveler moves on through.

No comments: