Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 2 of 3

I quickly looked at my phone; only a little battery. Every move I made would have to get me a full step closer to my destination otherwise I would be stranded in the middle of Seattle with nowhere to go. I called my parents to confirm the keys were missing. They were there, right where I hadn’t picked them up. I would be stuck without them for a couple days. Just my luck to travel on a holiday. I had put myself in a grand mess. I was screwed. I called the only friend I knew was in Seattle. She didn’t answer. I left a message but I knew that she had to get up in the morning and that she wouldn’t get the message until much later. I called my father back. He said he’d do some research to try to figure out a course of action.

I hung up. I watched the bus move. Faint outlines of trees passed before the window. They were barely teenagers. Most of the trees along the side of the highway are a testament to how depressing Americans can make nature. Usually one variety, young, and planted all in a neat line abutting the road, highway trees are America’s way of flipping the bird to mother nature. “We can make trees too. They won’t be majestic and they won’t be unique. We will make them as ersatz as the Indian casinos along our road. We will dwarf them with our enormous billboards that show off the enormous graveyards for mother nature’s old-growth forests. And we will do it all with a smile and call it the American dream.”

I was powerless in that moment. The bus moved forward. I couldn’t do a damn thing. And I thought; this is how people live their lives. Out of control; moving forward, convinced that they can stop the bus or change its direction. But we are all just stuck. I laughed to myself; at least I fancy that I did. Through my hands clenched together and the beads of sweat forming around my brow I’m sure I did little more than sit in stunned silence.