This town was the gateway to the ole West. In Texas, there are about sixty five towns that tell you they are the ‘Gateway’ to the ole something – in letters seventy feet high, so it is said by NASA you can see them on the moon and get a real homelike sensation – failing to note, however, that calling the town ‘a gateway’ really means that it’s nothing but a piss stop for folks with their hearts set on getting somewhere else. But as I have said before you get the impression at times that the guide book is grasping. In Texas, The Interstate rates as an attraction in itself: families will send postcards home to their loved ones that say “We’re on the Interstate!” That’s 30,000 glaring concrete miles with a vista of telegraph wires, pylons and over carriages, cleaved between green banks and rocks covered with a thin layer of cactus weed; road signs overhead like banners; a sparkling succession of broken lines disappear under the bonnet of your car like ticker-tape or sticks of gum. For the first 30 miles all of the cars travel alongside you – all at the same speed, so it feels like you’re going real slow & the arrowhead of a great migration; we are new souls full of purpose and borne upon the wave of simple sunny optimism, or hope in its early Christian form (before they discovered America). This goes on for a while; the cars drop back, or disappear into the mouths of canyons or tunnels up ahead like wind-up toys, they turn off and never reappear from the other side of signs that say “Welcome to Wonderful Waco!” and then list a bewilderingly small population.