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January 14, 2011

The Trees of Misconsin

In the morning, I wake up with a massive charley horse. My left calf hurts so bad I've got tears coming out of my closed eyes and I'm hitting my leg trying to make it go away.

The alarm goes off and I knock a full, open can of Diet Pepsi off the night stand and the clock starts ticking.

In the darkness my hands search for the can. I can hear it regurgitating Diet Pepsi all over the rug. I find the drink and set it on the night stand.

Sometimes it's good to be in a hotel.

This is my last day in Wisconsin.

In the parking lot, I search the synonymous turtle-shaped humps of snow for my rental car. I don't have keyless entry, so the game is to try to figure out which snow-covered mound most closely resembles a Toyota Yaris, whatever that is.

I pull up to a gas station to top it off and of course you can never know where the gas tanks are on these things. I've never even heard of a Yaris before. I'm looking for the gauges. They're not in front of the driver, like every other car ever made. Eventually, I find them between the driver and the passenger, squarely in the center of the vehicle.

The gas gauge has a little arrow pointing to the driver's side so I pull up expecting the gas tank to be on my side and it is. Probably that's the only trick I ever learned on the internet that actually works.

I gas up and drive to the airport and I make a couple of turns before I realize that I'm not following the signs to the airport which surprises me for some reason. Not that it should. I could probably find the Madison airport with my eyes closed.

I drive past the southern airport boundary gazing across the bare woods and open fields. I know there's a frozen little canal that runs south from here toward the lakes - I've seen it from the planes when I'm landing. Flying over a place gives you a very different perspective.

I'm studying the bare trees very closely...looking for hawks or kestrels and I realize the trees here are very different from the trees of Colorado. These aren't evergreens. They're bare, but the ends of the trees are very different. They seem to go on nearly to infinity so that overall, the trees retain their shape very well, if not perfectly. I'm studying the trees and nearly drift into the car beside me and I'm sure he's furious and reloading his gun but he just smiles and waves. Maybe he's looking at the trees also. Maybe not.

I want to go back and take photos of the trees but I have a flight to catch and maybe this is just the curse of being alive. There's so many things to see and so many places to be that it's just impossible to capture everything.

At the airport, I see the corner of the parking garage where I used to park my motorcycle before the cold became too much.

This will be my last time here and I park my car.
I park my car and walk past the Enterprise Car Rental agency. I want to walk up to that little faggot and tell him that I'll never rent from enterprise again as long as I live but he's not there so I just keep walking.

When I walk through the metal detector, it sounds an alarm and I'm thinking..."wait a minute dude...I know I didn't set off the metal detector...I walk through them twice a week...there's no way."

"Sir, you were randomly selected to go through additional screening. The machine is set to randomly select people."


So she swabs my hands with little cloths...and puts them in this ginormous computer...and the TSA terrorist tells me I'm free to go.

Gravy biscuits and coffee at the Great Dane and the trees of Wisconsin fall away beneath the clouds - a fading memory. I'll miss the trees of Misconsin.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM


Diet Pepsi??? WTH?

Posted by: Molly on January 14, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Deal was this...they had no diet drinks at the Residence Inn. Dude went into the back room and brought me a Diet Pepsi in a can for free because they had no diet anything. So...

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on January 15, 2011 at 6:07 PM

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