I rode through Texas twice, within two weeks. On a greyhound bus. It was hellish and hot and strangely wonderful. I met all types of humans, from a woman who was sure she had found an assassination plot against the mayor of Orange County to a woman who was on the way to tell her one night stand that he was going to be a father. Around New Mexico, I met these girls. They both had chopped hair, and the bigger one laughed with her belly, one of those body shaking laughs coming from the center of her being. She was taking her new girlfriend to meet her family in some tiny town in the middle of Texas.
We were somewhere between El Paso and Austin at a gas station that looked more like a rundown wild west saloon with weathered wood paneling and swinging doors. But, what I remember the most were the cockroaches. Everywhere. Outside the dim pool of light cast by a lone streetlight, the hard brown dirt teemed with black dots of doom. But inside the light, it was worse. I had never seen bugs so big, and my brain was screaming for the kill. Willies clawed their way over my skin, sending my feet to stomping. Crunch. Snap. My job would never be through. Thick goo streamed from beneath my feet and I kept going. A maniacal laugh ripped from my throat as my new round friend grabbed my arm.
“Stop!” she pleaded, her magnetic laugh a pale ghost of a memory. “I can’t stand the sound!”
That’s what I remember about Texas.