Road Trip! First Stop, Las Vegas…

Las Vegas downtown

Las Vegas downtown

Road trip! The term resonates within the hearts and minds of men—Americans, at least—with the force of thunder punctuating desert rain. There will be lots of that on this trip—desert, that is—my adopted home as an American on home soil, free and unencumbered, in my mind, at least, of all the baggage that comes from places back East and down South, the debris of civilization that falls through the cracks of consciousness and gets stuck there, unwashed and unabated, left to rot or die trying, evidence of its existence nothing more than a messy stain on fresh sheets, a funny smell emanating from far corners…

Anything for  a buck

Anything for a buck

Gotta’ get outta’ the apartment early to get to Las Vegas by mid-afternoon, so drag Tang out, kicking and screaming. This is her trip, maybe our last trip, a family trip, going to see the new grand-nephew, so a joyous occasion, too few and far between. Family obligations should be more than obligations, an opportunity for true communion, more than just crossing t’s and dotting i’s, taking pees and batting flies. Children are the future, by definition; can’t imagine a world without them, and wouldn’t want to try. When people stop reproducing, the world is in trouble…

Rent the car, take the wheel, drive thru LA outskirts for the next 100 miles: warehouses and parking lots, fast food and fast drivers, power lines and road rage, traffic grids and the lines of age. The desert comes like a relief to all the citified hubbub that precedes it, clean and pristine, sand-blasted to a fine sheen, and left to reflect the daily sun. But the real fun begins when I let Tang drive, right-handed driver at a left-hand wheel, struggling to keep the beast in line, damning the torpedoes and half-speed ahead, praying for divine intervention and thanking all gods…

Dog and Leo

Dog and Leo

Las Vegas is like a Rorschach test. Somehow you find clues to yourself in all the seemingly meaningless chaos. People insert coins and pull levers even where coins and levers no longer exist, like the phantom orgasm of paraplegics, just electronic bells and whistles pushing the buttons of desire and influence. Psychological need for transcendence rules, a life beyond boredom, a cause beyond rebellion, otherness parading before jaded eyes, flashing skirts and wafting perfume, jitterbug knee jerks and scarce leg room, incomes outbound outcomes uncertain and…

The best part is seeing yet another variation on the DNA that is I/me/mine, another variation on the family tree, the family foliage, the family fruit, another variation on chromosomes and motor homes and sandy loams, another variation on what I might have been, had not that butterfly fluttered by just when it did, causing untold perturbations in the vibrato-sphere, for now until forever…

Refractions in glass

Refractions in glass

So I put Tang on the big grey dog/bus back to LA, loose ends neatly wrapped and tied for safekeeping, till death do we part, all the things I shoulda’ said recycled and left for pick-up in the green bin, wet waste, haste post haste, got motor running head out on the highway, you don’t know how it feels, yesterday all our troubles seemed so far away, so gimme some lovin, love me twice today, walk on the wild side, just show me some kind of sign girl, in the tracks of my tears, who could hang a name on you, anyway, Ruby Tuesday/Cinnamon Girl/Suzie Q/Sugar Magnolia? So split up on the docks that night, to love somebody, baby we were born to run; next stop: Tucson…

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