08 June 2008

Things you might see driving down Highway 1.

This tale is just here for telling you about the road I drive on, every day. It's name is Highway 1, which seems like a fine name for a road that is as far left as you can be, looking at our United States from straight ahead or maybe up above hovering in a space ship. It's a long road, stretching from the very bottom of California, up to nearly the top. Maybe it goes down to Mexico, and maybe it goes up into Oregon, but I couldn't tell you that as I never, ever go there. But I do drive from the beach town of Santa Cruz down to the farming town of Watsonville almost every day, so this is a road I know very, very well, as well as the messed up caulking on the new tub in my bathroom that you view from sitting on my toilet. It is scenic, and wraps near the coast in a bunch of parts, scenic vistas where maybe a car commercial would be filmed of the car's smooth handling around a curve near a sweeping bridge and some cliffs over the sea. You would never see a burned up motorhome in one of those commercials or guys with long baggy shorts and white knee socks up to their knees peeing off the side of the road. In the morning and at night, it becomes a freeway everyone hates and curses while they talk on their phones in the traffic jams that grow meaner every year. At the Santa Cruz part, Hwy 1 becomes mostly a very busy street known for it's bicyclist killing abilities as motorists fly by the Taco Bell and the falafel place and the Greek place and the Brazilian place and the surf shop and where the dog washing place was that recently became a hookah lounge.

So as I was flying by on the way home from work, going too fast but at the same time looking very carefully for bicyclists because they just die like flies on that road and damned if I become the next bike rider killer, I am seeing stuff that makes me happy to see and I and wonder, does everybody see stuff like this when they are driving home from work? Because I never run out of stuff to look at when I drive down this road that I've driven down maybe almost every day since like, well, since we were worried Ronald Reagan was blowing us all up to the moon and there were no tattoo shops on it and my friends had bongs almost as tall as they were that had names like girls that maybe lived in boarding schools in a place like Vermont. Back when people had time to dye their hair purple and sit in the driveway on a sunny, Sunday afternoon and drink beer and listen to talk about Marxism that didn't make a whole lot of sense.

On the corner by the tattoo shop of the super famous tattooer that makes you wait a YEAR for a tattoo, was a giant, fluffy red bird, a Santa Cruz Cardinal mascot waving a big sloppy painted sign for the car wash down the street at the high school. Accompanied by a sullen flag holder in her flag twirling skirt who isn't twirling her flag, a drummer pounding away, and, I kid you not, a teen bagpiper in a kilt that matched the flag twirler skirt. The bird, the bagpiper and the drummer all looked pretty chipper to be there, on the corner of Hwy 1, waving their sign for the car wash, while that poor girl looked like she would rather be dead than stand there with the stupid bird and those guys who maybe play D&D at night and know how to download anything you ever wanted off the internet.

But I can't stop because it's Hwy 1 and seconds later, I pass some Mormon guys, and one of them has no chin. They have on little backpacks, and they walked together, like the Beatles on that Beatles record where they all walk in step except Paul because maybe he was dead. There were only 2 Mormons, they always travel in pairs, and you always know it's them from their clean white shirts and their clean, pressed pants, and their friendly, smiling faces even when they're just walking down the street and maybe had to step out into busy traffic for a second to get past that giant red bird. And I was thinking, who did they visit with today and did they have a nice time and save any souls?

But I only had a second to wonder because then all of a sudden I am driving by the tall hot pants guy. He has these long giraffe legs, like the most impossibly long, tan legs I've ever seen on a man, but he only wears cut off jean hotpants. Super short cut right up his ass. And leg warmers down at the bottom, over his high top Reeboks circa Madonna Like a Virgin years. Like I know my sister BEGGED for those shoes and I think now they are back in again because what was in was out and now it's in. He has a frightfully colorful woven beanie thing over his long blonde hair. The overall impression of the hot pants guy is like a horribly misdirected tranny hooker but that hoofs it too fast to ever pick up a guy. He has to be old now, the hot pants guy, because I've seen him off and on for so many years. It feels like the same amount of years as I've been driving down this road, but could he have been wearing those hot pants this whole time? Like I think he's one of those fixtures about town like the screaming white haired lady who hovers over her bike, huddled in a building doorway screaming at the top of her lungs then staying there without moving for hours, or the other bike riding guy who decides you are the Devil and starts biking after you, screaming that you are an Asshole and Must DIE and you make sure not to make eye contact and keep your head low. The hot pants guy is taking his big long steps down the sidewalk just barely ahead of the Mormons who would maybe be able to talk with him but not sure what they would talk about? I always have this idea maybe he is really, really quiet, but I only see him from the car so that might be false, wrong to even think that.

But then in seconds he's gone because the traffic is moving and I pass the giant lady. Like Diane Arbus type lady, walking down the sidewalk, she isn't with the hot pants guy but half a block ahead. He is always alone, and I have never seen this giant lady. How could I have ever missed this giant lady? She is so very, very tall, maybe the tallest lady I can ever remember seeing just walking down the street. She has on sweatpants and has the whole eco friendly canvas tote business going on, which looks so shrimpy against her giant body. I could only see her for a second because the traffic was moving at dead bicyclist speed and then it was time to turn to drive down to my own street, you get off Hwy 1 at the hookah lounge and just drive towards the sea and then you'll be there in a few minutes. That's the spot where Otterpop starts to whine and sticks her snout with little vampire fangs over the gridded metal bars of her crate, and all the dogs wake up and move around because if we're almost home it means we're almost at the beach and life is better for dogs that have been just sitting in the car this whole time, locked up in boxes, not looking at anything that I can tell.


Anonymous said...

You don't need a digital camera. Your writing has more than 5 megapixel resolution. Hell, each sentence does. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of the Dylan song Highway 61. i think I'm gonna join a troupe of sign twirlers