Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Well it's Ninth and Hennepin, and all the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes

In what is rapidly becoming our tour MO, we went to bed late and got up early, which turned out to be wise. That way, we had plenty of time to check out the small but charming redlight district of Minneapolis, handily located near the bus station, kind of under the freeway: Matt gave us a ride on his way to work, and even waited with the car running while I hopped out and took a picture of the many-bulbed sign advertising LIVE NUDE MODELS whose work is different than mine, but probably no less inspiring. The models are based at Sexworld, just across the street from Midwest XXX: Halfway between Minneapolis and Milwaukee, we stopped for a half hour at a Love’s/Hardee’s combo reststop/gas station in Oakdale, Wisconsin, a town whose name I was able to figure out thanks to the water tower behind the Megabus and trees in this picture: Despite lacking the promised WiFi, the Megabus still won us over with its cheapness and with the way its name resembles that of a Transformer. The sky was gloomy and gray at first... ...but people everywhere seemed in good spirits and kept up the pattern of niceness we have come to appreciate about this tour, including our fellow Megabus passengers. For example, while I was taking this picture, I was feeling more than a little like something the cat dragged in, but then a gentleman whose name I would learn was Maurice came up and asked me 1) what my name was, 2) where I was from, and 3) if I would like to accompany him to the clubs back in Chicago tonight. No, Maurice, but thank you for asking.

Before the reading, Drew Blanchard picked us up and took us to his place for lunch. The sky was blue...
...and his dogs are adorable: He was our heroic guide as we read to students in the undergrad and grad programs of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where their art department hangs pictures of live semi-nude people on the wall: Tonight, Kyle crashes in the ‘waukee, and I Amtrak back to Chicago for the AWP Conference where we are both doing a bunch of events, as are about a million other really great writers. Rose Metal Press will have a table there—number 441!—so please come by and say hi, since Abby and I will probably be there like 90 percent of the time. I can’t wait to meet you. Yeah, you.

No comments: