By Kate Bitters
“At the age of seventy-eight, Elmer Heartland packed up his things, kissed his sleeping wife on the forehead, and left. For good.” So begins the journey of Elmer, a man in his twilight years who has spent most of his life simply doing what he was told. After year upon year of empty conversations, meaningless actions, and endless Lions Club meetings, Elmer decides that he has had enough. He packs up a duffel bag, tip-toes into the night, and hops on the the 4 a.m train to the city of There. As the train gathers speed and leaves his hometown in the dust, Elmer wonders where the road will take him and what adventures his new life has in store. He is ill-prepared for what will come next. Elmer adventures across country, seeking personal meaning as he attempts to make peace with his past and grapple with his identity. Along the way, he encounters a quirky collection of people and places including two dueling soup kitchens, a pack of new-age collectivists, and a rainbow-colored meditation tower. Elmer’s tale shows us it’s never too late to come-of-age.