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Veronica Varlow
  -  Adventures On The Road   -  The Raven-Haired Strays….

With a new friend in one of the coffeehouses on the road.

We are the strays, my friends, moving from town to town….

In each town we move to, we always hit the local coffeehouses, hug other people’s dogs, get lost in a good cup of cappuccino and our journals and pick up maps. There’s always free maps. I just like looking at them, seeing the names of roads, the curve of the town. We talk to the people there – hearing their stories, wondering what life would be like to live there.

We generally have about 12 hours in a town, a “slice of life”, if you will. We are the strangers.

We lug our 1940s train cases filled with our makeup and our toothpaste and face wipes and our pretty soaps in truck stop bathrooms and we bring the glamour to roadsides in the middle of a long sleepy stretch of highway. We sleep in our cocoon bunks decorated with pictures of our loved ones taped on the walls and bras that get thrown at us. My magic wooden box is always next to my pillow, filled with my oils, my special rocks, my tarot cards, and a lonely button from my lover’s shirt. My train case sleeps at my feet. The bus hums back and forth in time with the pavement, sailing along with yellow lines of road.
When I wake up, it’s generally around 6am when the sun is rising – I sit curled up at the front of the bus watching the world go by. I sit there and think in the quiet. My eyes look for signs, names of towns, old roadside attractions. Then I fall back asleep and dream of traveling. Of moving.

This morning I was alone on the couch at dawn, perched next to the window, watching the snowy mountains and icy rivers along the Oregon trail. There was a large square sign in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the mountain, and the moment we passed it, I turned quickly in my seat to see what it said on the other side. But it was blank. On both sides. Just a big glorious wooden square sign in the middle of a mountain, on the edge of nowhere. It’s a place to write your wishes, I thought. And I closed my eyes and chalked my wish upon the sign.

We are dreaming in the center of the universe.

Long live the gypsies of the roads…….
and good fortune to all who are kind to us wandering girls when we find our way across maps into your town.