What’s needed when you go out of town is a dog, a pig’s ear, a banana, and a cup of coffee. Having a driver and a co-conspirator is also good. What’s needed is a full tank of gas and a cat sitter, an extra set of keys, and a call to the road, the wide open road where brown fields stretch to green planted rows stretch to gold foothills. Through the Delta and goodbye to water, hello to dry riverbeds, electrical towers, windmills, to pick up trucks, and uninterrupted sky.
What’s needed is the desire to be without even as you fill the car with what is, pushing the door closed, lifting the dog in, and you’re off.
What’s needed is a sense of adventure that starts with a quaking stomach and several trips to the bathroom and no one ever said adventure worked like that. The husband plays air guitar because his ears can’t yet take the silence, the regular hum of the road is the music, the happy sigh is its lyric, and the rolling hills are undulating breasts along the Road to Zamora.
What’s needed is a 70 mph speed sign where before only 65 miles were allowed, and the lack of a carpool lane is the indicator on your compass point due north into hell’s heat with fog a distant acquaintance to be reunited with much later or never.
Tree farms and pheasant shooting farms are my new neighbors. Me and my city clothes with my city husband and city dog, we are on cruise control while we unwind from the clickety-clack, from the BART echo, from the 880 gridlock. What’s needed now is amnesia for a little while, a little while.