8/29/93

 Y- something

A journey through the many faces of California
So much like scrolling over
A role playing map in a video game

Desert heat- American country
Mountain air- lunar lake
City fear- charming port
Air forest- no man’s land
Forced farms- magic kingdoms

Taking my time as fast as I could
The eventuality of my eyes giving up

I pulled off for a half hour, no longer
There was no sleeping in between
My neck cried for midnight
While the travelers came up for air and found none
It was a day when fluids existed for only moments

He sat in the rare shade of the arid rest stop
As I began to leave, gently accosted
for a few cigarettes
His face narrow, the width of footsteps beneath his tight white beard
He had been there for two whole days, looking for a ride
Where was he going?
“South…”
That was good enough for me.

In a life with passengers few
His place beside me was assured
By that rare bond of kindred spirits
With the patience of a hitchhiker
And the drive of a serious walker
The bondage of his highway freedom propelled him
Just as sure as I did in my little V-8
His transient values made so much more sense
Than the societies that we discussed

A broken ankle provided by nature’s ill wind
Adjusted his mode and slowed him
Having to depend on others for his vehicle
I considered my patience
Could I spend six days on a freeway on ramp?
Could I listen to my need to go where I need to be?
Could I wait a second longer?

As I released him from my grasp
I mentioned that the journey was the destination
And he said
“Yeah, I’m finding that out… can I get a few more cigarettes?”

Now to try to get over the shame
Of forgetting his exotic sounding name
I write of yet another roadside chance meeting.