Monday, March 12, 2007 – San Francisco
“The art of rolling.”
That’s what it says on the outside of Rizla packets. Today, more than usual, it applies.
We’re suddenly traveling solo across the country in a graffiti-covered car. Right now. This is a grand and sad last-minute job-leaving road-trip-with-dog-as-sidekick, to be with our mother and our dying grandmother in Memphis. But we’re going to make it as fun for ourself as possible.
This era might be it for the road trip, for all but the elite and the super-determined. The Long Emergency is here. Gasoline supply on this Earth started waning for good in the ’70s, and despite repeated attempts by our belligerent and self-serving government, the region it comes from will not stabilize. The planet is mad at us, and like a running car in a sealed garage, it doesn’t care whether we live or die.
So as a fairly responsible citizen of Earth as well as a member of the Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, we feel guilty about purchasing excavated dinosaur ooze to zip around the U. S. of A. in a 2-ton coccoon. But to see Nanny, and Mamaw, and then New Orleans after that, it must be done. We hear a plane ride costs just as much anyways, energy-wise. Time and/or resources to do this may never surface again.
When the time comes … when we’re finally readying the house for vacancy, doing taxes and looking through pictures and packing away Nanny’s clothes, Momma will call for us to re-draft our own wills.
Any cash at all when this writer dies should be allotted enough to rent however many mango trees in India (like Coldplay did — bland band, good hearts) that’ll make up for all the extraction energy we’ve consumed.
Right now we’re at a friend’s house in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles County, after taking an afternoon drive from San Francisco. Waiting for the opportune moment when the heat abates and the rush-hour traffic hasn’t yet started.
Dog and girl will make our way down the 405, to the 5, and over the Palm Desert, and as far into Arizona as we can get before we either grow sleepy or get pulled over for the broken taillight we patched with red duct tape out front of the Cyclecide drunkyard yesterday at 5pm.
Pray for us. Pray to Gladys, the patron saint of parking and traffic, that we can make it to Nanny’s bedside to sing “Amazing Grace” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” to her, in harmony with Momma, one more time before she goes to see her loving husband, and the God to which she spent a lifetime in ardent and infectious devotion.
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