I’m not sure why it was I was reading that part of the newspaper. There wasn’t much in sports, I suppose, and the headline that a major cleric in the middle east is calling for the violent removal of US forces didn’t really seem like news. They know we’ll be leaving eventually anyway, so by speaking now they can take credit later. I have a pretty fertile imagination (lots of bullshit), but I cannot imagine any scenario in Iraq that even vaguely resembles us ‘winning’.
Which is to say, I was reading the classifieds this morning. There is a section in the Albuquerque Journal job classifieds called “Drivers Wanted”. They mean truck drivers, of course, people with special training and special licenses to haul freight or get cement to the site on time. Nestled among these was an ad by Dave. It seems he is a vietnam vet and he and his buddy are heading out in an RV to see America. They want a driver.
OK, OK, I’m not going to take the job. (I might keep scanning the ads for the two Victoria’s Secret vets looking for a driver.) That it would be pretty stupid for me to drop everything and hit the road for a few months is kind of a lost argument on me, and when it comes right down to it I’m probably better off hitting the road with strangers than I am with people that I would regret never speaking to again. But.
Just how unmoored am I? Do I even have a frickin’ keel? Free is nice; rudderless is lame.
I am a boat, not a raft. I am sailing unknown waters, but I’m still steering. There are clouds building on the horizon, a big blow is heading right for me, but I have a rudder and a keel and even sails, if no engine. Hitting the road with a couple of strangers could be the stuff of the next great American novel, but I’m already saturated. I simply can’t afford to do something like that. I’m behind already, not just with writing but with keeping up with friends, getting a 1.0 of Jer’s Novel Writer out, getting short stories to magazines and partials to agents, and to drop all of that now for a road trip would be pretty damn stupid. People joke about my inability to plan, but I do have a plan; it’s painted with a 4-inch brush and favors the distant future over the immediate present, but it’s a plan. To punish the nautical metaphor just a little more, I’m on the open sea, fresh water is running out, but I can see the stars.
I’ll be calling Dave in the morning, just to find out what the story is. You know, out of curiosity. Just to see where they’re coming from, and if they know where they’re going.