In Massachusetts: Hard Driving

Those of us who wander across this country -- hard-core itinerants, escapees from a Stanley Elkin fiction, a ragtag of peddlers, truckers, journalists, compulsive tourists -- meet in flyspecked cafes off the interstates and gossip about the cities that are our temporary destinations.

Manhattan, the island borough of 34 square miles, the city that gave us gridlock, each day invites in 877,000 motorists and then does not let them park. Over our coffee we trade hints on what it is not too illegal to do with our delivery trucks there. We tell tales of cabbies and their refreshing obscenities.

Outside Dallas,...

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