It was a white car full of trash. I forget the make, maybe it was an old Fiat, or a pale Honda perhaps, maybe? Regardless, it was white trash. On wheels, but it was getting late, and in the space of minutes we’d made our choice and were now drunkenly swaying from lane to lane, curb to curb, deer to deer. (Sigh. OK no deer, but a lot of beer). And we should have known; those mud-flaps should have said it all, but being the deluded, under aged, ready-for-cheap-thrill-kind of naive, and wanting not to judge a car by the presence of a bumper, but by the hum of its engine, Naomi and I boarded what was, quite clearly, a homicide waiting to happen.
We’d made that journey a dozen times, usually in time, never that late, but it was a mountain range, and that was the main issue. Highway 17 passes through two ghost towns Laurell and Glenwood, snaking through the densely forested terrain, whose green needle tops rise from the sea level upward, itching the Autumn sky. The sun was bathing in the inky teem of dusk, and the oncoming blackness, heedless to the growing dread within us, engulfed our only way home. Silent, and no longer laughing, we watched the red-ashen car lights smudge before us and disappear into the Pacific tree line, gulped by the darkness in front of our outstretched thumbs.
This was our one and only way back. The route connected our place of residence to our place of entertainment, and having neither access, funds nor desire to acquire a car to call our own, we opted for a commie solution. In due process however, we soon found ourselves stuck and stupefied, like the idiot tourists we were; the kind that, surprise surprise, wake up in an ice bath with their kidneys on the black market, a leg chained up the wall, and a prospective porn deal titled “gals with stumps.”
White trash was liquored up, drinking a beverage out of a MackyD cup, his neck bent downwards like an ostrich, draining the liquid toward himself, before swallowing it with a loud gulp, and smiling presumptively at Naomi sitting there with him, in the front. On occasion, and in between serving drinks or changing radio stations, he’d peek at the road, glancing at it with a sort of worn out disgust, like a downtrodden, fed-up housewife who’d settled for the schmuck down the road because he was around and Jewish. He’d toast at the review mirror, his red, puffy face all jovial and slimy, as he professed the countless times he’d done this road before.
The car was full to the brim with whatsits, and wrappers, and kettle-like gadgets pulping me: in my natural habitat, squished among the scrap at the back. Naomi tapes our jaunt, as I get more and more aggravated by the whole arrangement. That vlog, by the way, is still definitely somewhere out there, looming in the compulsive pile of footage-hoarding endemic to our friendship with N. She postulated he wouldn’t kill us on tape. Seemingly she had a point. I wasn’t so sure though, since, you know, I definitely know people that get off on that type of thing. (Clears throat)
In any case, the climax of our journey came about when, (to Naomi’s cackling delight), she’d been instructed to rummage through the front seat compartment, thereby strategically stumbling upon an array of laminated nudes: Lo and behold, Trash in his prime, splayed out gloriously on the sandy shores of the very beach we were returning from. And dire as that was, we were, at least driving: and therefore theoretically better, because every minute spent driving, meant closer to proximity and light.
But the dusk knew better, and we sped and swirled like loco loons in our crummy Fiat-Honda, chasing the darkness towards more night. Albeit, there comes a certain point, mid-mountain range, night and no camping gear, one faced with two, equally queer choices. Both are grody, but one is significantly warmer. And though, objectively he was bald fat and old, plus potentially violent, there was only one of him. One was less than two; so we did what we had to do..
(enter montage of 3 legged puppy getting hoofed by a cow).
No, no I joke.
But shit did get real. We were wearing off course.
Laughing forcibly at his words, then, in spouts of hysteria, sort of cry-guffawing at our own buffoonery, Naomi, sent me the “if-he-tries-summethink-we’ll-fuk-him-up” kind of look, and I, sipping on my own MackyD mystery drink, shoot her the “yes dear” look.
And she was right, naturally; one can remain in denial only for so long. Not wanting to face the task at hand, we did what the Romans did: ignore the issue, and pop bubble wrap – give it a little breathing room, watch it from afar, fly on the wall kind of style. Only now, this fly was about to get swatted.
Our phones were dying.
Trash steered toward Sacramento.
We’d missed our exit a while back.
And I guess it’s time for the moral of the story. Which, by the way, is neither wise, nor moral.
But, (sips on olive Martini) hear this well, and hear this good: things tend to get ugly and personal, real fast. Regretfully, it’s more or less inevitable, thus cut your losses and act decisively. One simply cannot pussyfoot around like a ponce when getting kidnapped. This is especially so, when travelling in a steel box at speeds faster than advisable, increasingly drunk on mystery drink and in a foreign land with no money, connectivity or insurance. This is also especially so, when the person aiming to take “control” (term used veeeery loosely here) of the car is stuck at the back with a pile of rogue rubbish (which had it had the chance to become sentient and recall this story, would be placing bets on which one of the three baboons gets brain damaged first). In any case, the moving vehicle part is of fundamental importance. Utmost importance. Henceforth, resorption to pepper spray is not always advisable.
Having said that, there will be times, (waves giant flag), when life gets croaky and serves you white trash. And that’s quite alright because Yoda agrees: Obi-One, good must bee to the environment zee.
There. An aim we all ought to keep.
So don’t hesitate,
(How this relates to life here will be explained later). L’chaim.