Through a desert with sun settling atop the mountains and semis providing relief from the piercing glare while traffic crawls, except for those lawbreakers riding the emergency lane, speeding the sides dangerously, we travel, mother, father, daughter, and teammate. The weekend of games has ended. Reality drags itself in like a legless dog, leaving a flattened path in the sand behind it. Tumble weeds pass us by deriding us with snarly twigs of derision. “Ha, ha lemmings.”
Traffic breaks, we speed on, and I keep my eyes on the passing blur of joshua tree and sand.
The landscape whirs with murmurings; the desert speaks legends.
Mountain silhouettes remind me that space is illusion as the peaks look like painted playing cards.
How many times have I passed through Baker? Have I seen the signs with cowboy aliens before?
Aliens on horseback, now that would be a thrill.
Perhaps they’ve already passed through,
nodded and kept on going to greener pastures.
(A writer sighs and no one looks up–eyes glued to phones)
“We should have known,” his parents ruefully remarked to the reporter (I say out loud).
“He always insisted on painting the moon brown. His teachers complained, tried to steer him right, but he insisted on brown. He was 8. He should have known.”
Daughter glances up at me and grunts, “Huh? You say something?”
I shake my head.
The rising moon face winks.