Macomb, Illinois, spreads out flat, very flat. Western Illinois University lives there and that's where we went - David and I - this week. It started to snow lightly as we left Chicago; it continued snowing harder as we made our way West, the wind blew, seeing was difficult. Eventually night fell on the dark roads of the Midwest, the signs half hidden behind snow. We couldn't read where we were or where we were going. We couldn't read Exit numbers or miles left to Macomb. The cell phone came in handy to guide us through the dark and unknown.
We arrived at our hotel five hours later, way later than we were supposed to arrive. The wind was fierce when I opened the car door in front of the sliding doors. It knocked me around a bit but I managed to enter and check us in. Whew! I was NOT in a good mood. I need a stiff drink, I told David.
Where do you go in a small town? Buffalo Wild Wings, of course. There must've been at least ten television sets of varying sizes hanging from the walls blaring sports shows: football, basketball, hockey, and the occasional news program (Fox of course). The young waiter (a student no doubt) came promptly to take our order, before I was ready, when I was still recovering from the blast of cold air and maneuvering out of my hat, scarf, gloves, coat.
Give me a minute please, I answered, trying to be polite in this small town where everyone smiles at you and says hello. I ordered a cocktail and a cheeseburger, David a beer and pulled pork sandwich. Curiously, the noise level was not as high and annoying as one would think. We drank, we ate, we watched football and I-don't-know-what-else. Then, we fought our way back to the car in the still strong wind.
What am I doing here? Why do I do these things? The eternal questions plagued me.
- TO BE CONTINUED -