Los Angeles to New Mexico–Wednesday September 6
We dawdle like hell getting out of town. First we look for coffee, but then we find food—real food–and decide to eat the known quantity here rather than seek it out the unknown later. Our menu orders hedge against the future, a sort of anticipatory eating. For example, I am in no mood for oatmeal, but it seems relatively healthy, so I grab it, to combat the upcoming white flour carnival. Nick gets all four food groups in the blue plate special—meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli. I’m pissed.
Then we shop a little. I contemplate a pair of vintage Frye boots, but the store owner makes me try them on one at a time, using a plastic bag as a foot condom. Is this standard in LA? I pass on the boots, due to insufficient data. Nick ogles a pair of Pumas—he’s cheating on the Clarks Wallaby’s due to their hard-to-get routine. LA has been relatively dead since we got here, perhaps due to a post-labor day lull. But we are served up some hard-core traffic on our way out, delaying us even further.
We give up in Blythe, California, much earlier than we hoped. Our required fight starts up, about Nick’s reluctance to keep driving and my inability to drive. We agree on 5:30 as the wake-up time. The hotel room has cable, so we alternate between the preposterous all-star movie Twister, and the newest addition to the Cartoon Network, Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
In the middle of the night a gigantic storm rips through and wakes us. The whole building is shaking—out the windows, the rain is blown horizontal by the high winds. We have a term for this sort of epic, apocalyptic environmental behavior, due to our obsession with a particular movie. “War of the Worlds,” Nick croaks, and lays back down.