JIM GOES TO OKLAHOMA

Jim gets on the bus. He doesn’t even know where he’s going. He’s going to Oklahoma. His brother-in-law lives in Normal, in the panhandle he thinks. Or is it Norman?, Jim wonders. The bus smells like ping-pong balls. A Hispanic woman wearing a brightly-printed dress sits next to him. The bus is full, and smells like ping-pong balls. Why did this occur to me?, wonders Jim, that it smells like ping-pong balls? As he ponders this, the bus crosses the Illinois-Missouri border. It goes through a town called Mexico. It passes by a bakery and the bus windows are open as it is late spring and Jim smells the baking bread and thinks that this beats the pants off ping-pong balls. This makes him recall the time he was beat up by a gang of bikers in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1973. They really beat the pants off him. After the beating, he was arrested for lying in the middle of Main Street in his underwear, lying in a pool of vomit and blood and urine. Not a particularly fond memory as far as memories go, but this is what Jim is thinking about.