Sunday, March 21, 2010

charms of the interstate

One of the nicest things about a roadtrip is the time it affords for thinking. It's so indulgent to just sit while the scenery goes flash, flash, flash by the window, listening to music and thinking about nothing in particular. Things like:

tongue twisters: irish wristwatch. irish wristwatch. irish wristwatch.

nursery rhymes: I had a little nut tree nothing would it bear/but a silver nutmeg and a golden pear/The king of Spain's daughter came to visit me/and all for the sake of my little nut tree.

prosopagnosia: If I couldn't recognize the faces of people I love, could I pick out their walk? The way they pick up a glass? Their very own, unique as anything, way of slipping their hands into their pockets and leaning against a door?

When I lived in Southern CA, I drove up and down the 5 a decent number of times. I remembered it as dull (so very flat), grey (dry and dusty), and depressing (all those sad, doomed cows). I completely forgot the fizzy shock of seeing a flock of swallows burst out of mud nests crusted on the edges of an overpass, and about emerging from the hills and looking down on a huge field of lupin cut in half by the freeway, like a hazy purple lake sliced open by a bridge.

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