Piper Dances with the Dead

We were lost. Well, we knew where we were. We were just north of St. Louis along the Mississippi River smack, dab, in-the-middle, the heart of America. We just didn’t have a direction. We had our hearts set on New Orleans. Go south. And indeed, that is what direction the river flows. But that plan, along with our hearts, was sitting ten or fifteen feet down at the bottom of the Mississippi where the Illinois River and it meet. There we were though—at the Gateway to the West. Almost literally. We had some walking to do to get to St. Louis, and specifically the Arch, but that is where we were headed. No one particularly wanted to go west. Not that anyone was against it either. We didn’t have a Plan B. We should have. A lot of things could have gone wrong. This is why Caring Sue had so many rules. It wasn’t registered with any State in the Union. It was as good as stolen as far as the law was concerned. And knowing that, if the law needed to get a good look at the motley crew that was running the thing down the river, we would have been tried and convicted on the spot. Or the thing could have just gotten stolen from us, with all our stuff aboard, despite our best efforts to keep it locked, and to keep our stuff with us mostly. We wouldn’t have had any recourse. Luckily for us, it just sank. We were still alive. We still had our precious stuff and our savings. We just needed a new inspiration. A new muse. A dream to chase.

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