Las Vegas to Tucson, South by Southeast…

Southwest in my front yard

Southwest in my front yard

If you want to drive from Las Vegas to Tucson, as the crow flies, you can pretty much set your crow compass to SSE and put it on cruise control. That’s US Highway 93, soon to be usurped by the I-11 “super corridor” direct to Phoenix, if the powers-that-be have their way. I’m not sure who it would benefit, truckers mostly, I figure. Their isn’t much traffic there, as it is, mostly empty desert.

The highway already circumvents the Hoover Dam, which was still in effect last time I crossed the lower Grand Canyon at its ‘west’ rim. I don’t even know if they’ll let you do that now, what with the threat of terrorism and all. Environmental activists ‘Earth First’ played a hoax way back when, pretended to crack the dam, black streaks on white concrete, made a great photo op, but they seem like picnickers now, what with ‘real’ terrorists all over the news, Insh’allah, people willing to slit throats for cheap Facebook ‘likes’, and claiming women as ‘spoils of war’. They’re so spoiled, got oil money flowing through the veins of false religion, playing with souls like so many footballs.

Wickenburg

Wickenburg

Dam bypass shortens the travel time, though, no more endless switchbacks and bottlenecks going over the dam, just whoosh right over the river a little bit farther down and kiss the Grand Canyon goodbye. Wow, that was quick, maybe too quick, so I flirt with options of returning for views of the river and/or Lake Mead, ultimately blowing it off for ease and convenience. Lake’s way down, though, looks like the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan, going dry with every passing season of drought, lowest it’s been since construction back in 1930, bodes ill for the future.

Next stop is Kingman, but nothing much to see or do there. Their claim to fame is Andy Devine and his eponymous boulevard, seems to have only gotten more boring over the years, if that’s possible, top up the tank, maybe grab a burger if you must, lament the lousy lay of the land that relegates modern misused metropoli to malaise or worse, certainly hasn’t followed Flagstaff’s geek-hip trajectory.

Downtown Tucson

Downtown Tucson

Ah, Flagstaff! My former lover and best friend, so close and yet so far away, one hundred miles and four thousand feet, straight up, geography and psychology trading blows in my brain in some misplaced struggle for dominance of my mortal soul. The very name beckons me like a long-lost now-jaded lover wearing a new dress in hopes that I’ll like it, for no special reason, since she doesn’t intend to commit to anything anyway.

Honestly, I don’t know if I like it or not, maybe a little too fancy schmancy, like she went out shopping for something she knew she’d only wear for a day, then throw away as if it were so much cheap filler when in fact the cheap filler is supposed to go on the inside, puffing up sagging ‘D’ cups. I kinda’ liked those old vintage clothes, anyway, Navajos in full regalia, silver and turquoise, like a savings account handled by every female of the tribe, put it into silver before men can drink it up; that’s another trip…

IMG_2011

BioSphere II

This one is empty desert, briefly punctuated by the metropolis of Wickenburg, trappings of civilization on cheap adobe, still life with neon and baked clay, plastic cacti posed in perpetual permanent wave, saying ‘hi’ to all the passersby, most of whom aren’t sure why they’re here anyway, since the city most likely no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended…

From here on the suburbs gradually thicken like cheap store-bought soup, just add water, and highways, to taste, until it finally becomes Phoenix, paradigm for the modern American city, any and all vestiges of the past surgically removed, the city that air-conditioners built, doesn’t look anything like the city-in-waiting where I briefly stopped over back in 1974, looking for work, or a life, or die trying…

Object of my affection...

Object of my affection…

From there it’s only a short hop to Tucson, rue the day that those two meet, urban sprawl meets urban sprawl, nowhere to go but back toward center, but they haven’t learned that lesson yet, Tucson still aping big brother PHX, that big bad influence, but lil’ bro’ still proves that less is more. And then there’s Biosphere II, that mock-up city of the future, not so far away in time and space…

Tucson has a real downtown, at least, freshly spruced and lightly goosed (google search, words related to Goose: goosed goosing geese sex duck silly moose drunk shit vodka ass bird butt idiot loose vagina maverick penis dick silly goose), so that’s good. Welcome home, to the home I never had, home of the future, pure mathematical probability, buy a house and call it home, for others, hostel for many, offer currently pending… deal me in, Charlie…

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