US 151 South = Dubuque, Iowa

Hello, dear readers. I’m writing each day in June on my new play Slam.Slam is short for Samantha Lamb, and she is a pregnant, angry Iowan. Her life is about to change and not through her sound judgment or anyone’s good graces.Today’s subject? Read on….

I am not in the mood to write about this play. I’ll be honest with you.In the background I have a YouTube clip of a trucker filming his entrance into Dubuque, which is where I’ve put the fictional town of Mason, the setting of the play.The trucker posted a camera to his dashboard and there you are: a shotgun view, with a soundtrack of shocks absorbing bounces and a roaring, powerful engine. I’m inspired by the view of the highway and the transition into town. It’s clearly the end of the day because the sun is behind the truck.There are bends and trees and trees and a slow incline.
The expanse of space, after living in New York City, is what calls to me. My lungs expand happily, even though I’m a weather wimp and can’t imagine enduring Iowa winters again. But Iowa in the fall? That’s when the postcard photographers move in and everybody smiles.
“Ah, we’ve never been through this way!”
The trucker is friendly; not saying much, but his quips are cheery. After a day of driving, presumably, he must be tired. There’s an American flag and a warehouse of some sort and yes, we’re off the highway in Dubuque town proper.A bank clock declares 7:12.

I wonder what he’s shipping.

Note that there’s no music. Note that the man likes the view, as do I. Note that the highway bends and the hills roll and this trucker has just left town. Oh. I’m disappointed.I guess he’s going to keep working and have a late dinner.

“Pretty view out here, though!”

The GPS just barked directions, introducing computer-speak that really breaks my mood.After all, Slam has a memory base in the 1970’s, which (surprise!) were my formative years. And even though the setting is 2003, I don’t see much more than cell phones modernizing the day. Besides, Slam can’t and doesn’t drive and there’s a mystery there. How can she live way out of town, have a teenage son, run a petsitting business, yet not own a car?
All for now. The video’s still not over. I’m still mesmerized. The trucker’s about to pass a Sara Lee truck.These men work.
“Bumpy road!”

I write from Brooklyn, having dried off from a trip to Midtown in all that post-Andrea rain. I re-play the clip, remember trips to my grandparents’ home and extended picnics. I pet the cat, I get in my own bed.
Tick, tock.

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