Motel Chronicles


“In Rapid City, South Dakota, my mother gave me ice cubes wrapped in napkins to suck on. I was teething them and the ice numbed my gums.
That night we crossed the Badlands. I rode in the shelf behind the back seat of the Plymouth and stared out at the stars. The glass of the window was freezing cold if you touched it.
We stopped on the prairie at a place with huge white plaster dinosaurs standing around in a circle. There was no town. Just these dinosaurs with light shining up at them from the ground.
My mother carried me around in a brown Army blanket humming a slow tune. I think it was “Peg a’ my Heart”. She hummed it very softly to herself. Like her thoughts were far away.
We weaved slowly in and out through the dinosaurs. Through their legs. Under their bellies. Circling the Brontosaurus. Staring up at the teeth of Tyrannasaurus Rex. They all had these little blue lights for eyes.
There were no people around. Just us and the dinosaurs.”

© Sam Shepard, fra ‘Motel Chronicles’

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