Where the streets have no name

I’m in need of a road trip, I think.

So many good memories. Of eating scrambled egg sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise in the folded down seat of a Suburban as dawn turned to day at the horizon point, in the flat Arizona desert on the way to California.

Of laying down in the back seat of a Lincoln Continental on the hour drive home from Tucson, the night sky black, ruminating about the movie I’d just seen (Splash), and listening to grown up conversation filter in from the front seat over new wave radio.

Of teenage treks on roads so dark and remote we had to navigate by the stars.

Of a last minute trip to Disneyland with the ex at 19 so I could complete a jazz project there…stopping at a UFO themed motel for food we couldn’t afford…and taking state routes through empty land punctuated by occasional gas stations, fruit stands and a federal penitentiary.

Of driving through an immense valley between San Diego and LA, hugged by a sound on one side and hills on the other, in the early morning, just as tens of brightly colored hot air balloons inflated and then hovered above the ground, as if strung like lanterns.

And of long drives with my father to visit his step grandmother in Mexico, The Beach Boys playing on the radio until we lost the signal, and being able to ask him any question that came into my head. Feeling safe because, no matter the size of the question, he always had a thoughtful and considerate answer.

One last one: of trips with the ex to the ocean, San Diego or San Carlos or even Rocky Point, wherein I’d pack a bag of snacks from Trader Joe’s and an audiobook from the library…usually John Grisham. The hours would go by like minutes as we listened, and as I’d pass baby carrots or vegan cookies to him to keep his energy up.

When things were good, they were very, very good.