White River Junction, VT -- We're here at the Hotel Coolidge the night before the start of the Gag Cartooning Workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies to prove we're serious about being funny.
This trip is a complete departure from my rut. Expecting always to be told, "don't quit your day job," I let myself get bricked into it. But doing that prevents a person from finding out if their lack of illusions is really an illusion in itself. Am I deluding myself that I don't have talent? Sometimes you just have to show them yours and look at theirs and see how they measure up to each other. There's no getting away from it. The other choice is to turn into the shadows with your gray collar up and merge with obscurity.
Starting on country roads I watched the last dusk fade from the sky. For much of the time I was alone, so I could drive slowly enough to catch the pewter sheen of a stream in the woods and hear the noise of insects buzzing and chirping in the sultry air. The heavy nights of high summer are as valuable as the hard, glittering nights of January.
On the empty back roads I dodged frogs that hopped out from the roadside grasses on adventures of their own. Further on, in Meredith, I dodged tourists that hopped out from the sidewalks to cross the busy street without regard for crosswalks.
The straightest route still took me twisting through forest, field and village with little sense of haste. Other drivers were few, and most managed to split off and leave me in peace.