Couldn’t seem to get out of Pennsylvania. I kept goin’ back to the barn and found a couple more paintings, and they was just as nice but not as big. Albagon painted a tornado that looked like a three-color Popsicle on the side of a shed, and somethin’ that looked like a Chinese owl on an outhouse just a few feet away from an abandoned Texaco garage.

There wa’n’t any car on either side of the ‘Bird, and it was right chilly at 6:30 in the mornin’. The trees were startin’ to change their color, but it would warm up once I got myself back on the road and started to get out of Pennsylvania for real. But I kept thinkin’ about Albagon. I kept wonderin’ who he was and what his paintings meant. They were just like the dreams. They have some meanin’ behind them, some hard truth that you should be able to understand if you just look. I figured he was a local boy, and most of his work was probably hidden and off the interstates, on old track roads. I did some drivin’ up and down some of those roads, but mostly they petered off into nowhere. There was prob’ly some solid truth behind that randomness.


Excerpt from Cronic. Available at


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