this is a long drive for someone with plenty to think about

Collected Road Thoughts:

-words without translation — examples include the German weltschmerz and the Korean word for a certain kind of stress

-societies that cannot be taught mathematics because of their lack of a number system and also the wonder of a new human (baby) applying their learned numbers to real-world things, like pieces of fruit

-the probability of being in photos, perhaps prominently displayed, in strangers’ homes and the similar probability of crossing paths with the same stranger in different places in space and time

As respite from the road, we stopped at an outlet shopping mall somewhere in Oregon.  The hanging baskets teemed past their boundaries with unlikely flowers in such dry heat.  The baskets reminded me of similar ones Molly and I saw together last summer in an equal and opposite setting.  When our bus back from Montreal to New York stopped in Youngstown (I think it was Youngstown but I’m not certain a bus on that route would stop in Youngstown), we got out to stretch our legs and found a swimming pool behind the motel whose parking lot the bus was occupying.  There was a sign on the fence surrounding the pool that said Closed, which we disregarded.  We took off our shoes and cooled our dogs in the forgotten water, before getting back on the bus for a few more sad hours chronicling the end of a vacation.

Wonderful Moments of the Road:

-singing at the top of our lungs, mostly to T. Swift (conversely, a terrible part of the trip since we both lost our voices)

-bonding with the Washington driver and passenger of another gray Element as they passed us in Oregon

Awful Moments of the Road:

-watching a dog die on the side of the road as we slowed in the traffic that its death caused

-seeing, for the first time, a “Yes on 8” sticker on a minivan in California

-getting into California and realizing we still had another five hours of drive time, trying to negotiate it down to three


  1. ben

    The probability of being in photos/crossing paths reminds me of a similar incident. When perusing a decade or two old National Geographic, years ago now, I found a small captioned photo on a unassuming page. That image was the reference for a large painting that we had hanging in the living room, one that my abuelita had done years before. The recognition was shocking, and it was one of the first times that I realized that these things happen, even though the odds are against them.

  2. Ana

    Very cool, very very cool, Benito!

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