from snowflake to a fork in the road
But the land that is not developed is the most beautiful – I cannot begin to do put into words the incredibly rugged land formations, the trees towering (for Arizona high desert) toward the azure sky, white clouds billowing, dark clouds receding behind us as we head south. Orit, her wonderful Israeli accent thickening, comments on each of the ‘not very nice’ white males that roar past us (quite a feat on a 2-lane, windy mountain road) in their huge suv’s and pick-up trucks. we’re still bigger.
Suddenly, the road signs disappear – and just as suddenly a small town unrecognizable to me (but my memory has its faulty moments) springs up. it looks like a small Sierra Nevada town, only we’re quite a few hundred miles away. I stop to ask directions & find I took a fork in the road, unbeknownst to me. there are 2 older white wimmin in the shop, one the owner, one a customer and another customer who identifies himself as a visitor from the city – a visitor who loves my truck! The shop owner smiles broadly & informs me that she has voted republican all her life. I respond w/my usual, ‘and so? I happen to know lots of folks that are republicans and that are no longer supporting bush. Do you still support bush?’ She told me she wasn’t particularly happy with everything he does, but she supports him now only because her sister’s boy was going into the army and bush supports our troops.
I try not to look as horrified as I feel, thinking that if I come back in a year, her nephew could be dead, wounded – in the very least, he will never be the same human being again. I tell her how sorry I am, that he was joining the service when we have a president that has no respect for our children’s lives = but A LOT of respect for oil & the money it makes.
She looks long & hard at me. finally she asks me if I really believe the president of the united states would allow our young people to be killed so he can make money.
I look long & hard at her, willing her to see the visions tumbling thru my head of all the leaders of nations that are motivated by greed & trying to suppress my incredulous face. she seems so ordinary: 2 eyes, long hair, tall, warmly dressed as if expecting snow. She doesn’t seem stupid or hateful even. This time I let the sadness wash over me as I finally say “Yes”.
I think she is going to cry. She must believe me. Suddenly she seems shorter, her shoulders slump, her hair straggles forward, her eyes moist. She abruptly turns away and retreats into the bowels of her storeroom.
I feel like I’ve seen a glimpse of her future. No one meets my eyes as I slip out.