Somewhere west of Gundar, Arizona, I pissed on my steering wheel.
Not… intentionally, of course.
But hey, take a seat! Listen a spell, and read along! Sometime in 2020 I plan to start recording video diary entries, but for now this’ll work jusssstt fine.
So, where should I start?
With large snow drifts to both sides of the highway, and with vehicles in front and behind me, things were looking decidedly grim for the man with no room left in his child-sized bladder.
The man who, in retrospect, unwisely drank three cups of coffee an hour prior.
The nearest gas station had been 48 miles away.
Overall… it was a unique and strange holiday, for me.
I became an uncle. I saw many, many things. I ate donuts, and I sipped coffee while traversing desolate tracts of desert in circumstances hitherto unimagined.
The voyage to Arizona was fairly unremarkable.
Well, besides, uh…
…racing a train.
Or, you know, maybe twice.
For the most part, I saw what I expected: cacti, critters, vistas, and mesas.
At one point, I also saw a lone hawk sitting twenty to thirty feet from the highway, watching the traffic pass. I wondered, at the time, if he’d ever seen any signs of civilization before. If, perhaps, this was his first occasion to see humans in their flashy chunks of metal rocketing along dark colored, artificial, flat surfaces.
To some extent, I felt like stopping. And, had he let me, sitting down beside him.
It would have been something to watch from his viewpoint: as a creature unaccustomed to the chaos and madness we humans drag in our wake.
Had such a moment transpired, I’d undoubtedly have tried to think of something clever, comical and insightful to say… but as I mentioned, I saw him only briefly… I was just another human, in a speeding chunk of metal, whisking past as all the rest.
The journey home… wellllllll… that was an all together different experience.
Out of nowhere: a fierce fucking snowstorm! In the motherfucking desert!
It was humbling, unexpected, majestic, baffling, and exciting, all at once… and not in that order.
At one point, as mentioned, there was a mishap, and I ruined a perfectly good cup from a local pizza shop in an attempt to relieve myself and drive simultaneously.
As I said, there’d been few options at the time, and male physiology isn’t especially forgiving of unfavorable gravitational considerations.
Imagine a garden hose that’s crimped somewhere, and then suddenly… well, straightened? I filled up the entire cup, but was far from finished. What could I do? Panic ensued!
Songs like a song, doesn’t it?
I doubt you want to hear a closer breakdown of the events that transpired, suffice to say that it was… shall we say… a “learning experience”.
Yes… let’s call it that.
As I’m sure you know, any roadtrip spanning several states necessitates multiple re-fuels along the way. At several gas stations I encountered those giant sized Reese’s Christmas Trees, and on each tedious occasion I had to smother and overrule my inner glutton with the tiring inner voice of reason.
“Ohhhhhh Jonny-boyyyyy… you best keeeeep onnnn walkin’.”
I’m such a sucker for peanut butter. It’s shameful.
I also saw a number of keychains and paperweights of insects encased in transparent resin, like so:
Do you feel any compassion for them, trapped and confined as they are? Or do you feel thankful there’s one less nightmare stalking the world?
Either way, your reaction to their not-so-gilded prisons says something about your nature.
I also got my fill, certainly, of strange rocks. I mean, it’s the desert, right? There’s going to be a lot of them just… laying around.
I also had a bacon covered, maple donut, seen below. In truth, I’d expected typical donut consistency, but instead they were unaccountably crunchy on the outside, perfectly toasted/warmed, and expertly slathered in maple glaze that was… just right.
I also saw, while visiting my brother and sister-in-law, that they had their original wedding vows on the side of the fridge, which I felt was a rather sweet idea.
When their baby was born, on Christmas Eve, I was chasing around raccoons and squirrels in Red Dead Redemption 2, and trying to get all the materials I needed for the perfect outfit, complete with snakeskin boots and a dark colored cowboy hat with a dead raccoon on the front.
That was my “What I was doing when you were born story”, when dear little Quintin is old enough to inquire.
The memories matter.
I’m glad mine were good.
Others… had a rough time, over the holidays.
Don’t worry though, the driver of the semi, and his buddy, got out just fine. As I passed, they were standing on the other side of the downed trailer with blankets over their shoulders, looking rather dour, but seemingly relieved to be alive.
Somewhere out there, well before reaching home… the journey, for all intents and purposes, ended.
Life returned to the same gentle rhythm as always. Once you reach familiar territory, you’re kinda… well, home.
Thanks for reading, friend.