Friday, February 10, 2012

Borocho (Part 1)

There are long stretches of IH10 that will make you afraid. If you
have any sense, you will be afraid. Faith in your machine just won't cut it. There are hoses and belts and cheap little plastic parts under your hood that can break and the last human being you saw on this ribbon of asphalt stretched tight across the vacant desert was two hours ago . . . and he was going the other way, oblivious of you.

There are towns 30 and 60 and 100 miles apart. You speed past their outskirts without actually having seen any one person in them. Towns. What passes for towns: a gas station or two--abandoned, stripped cars and vans parked out back-- a convenience store, a ranch-style motel, maybe a cafe but more likely a junk food franchise, ten or twenty sun-bleached A-frames. No bus stops. No movie theaters. No fire department.

You speed past these little clumps of buildings out in the desert. You speed past because it looks like the residents have nothing to do all day, all night. Nothing to do but eat anything that comes limping off the IH10.

Your machine hums along. Oil pressure good. Half a tank of gas. Engine temperature edging down with the setting sun behind you. You're tired. You've been driving all day, half hypnotized by the blinking white line and the waves of heat radiating off the asphalt. The car radio you left on hours ago when you tried in vain to tune in a station, any station, none found, begins to crackle to life. A faint voice welcomes you to "brft-JH, cattle guard country of west brrfft".

Must be getting close to a city. Towns don't have relay stations. There's the sign. Twenty five more miles.

End, Part One

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