It’s almost 90 degrees and we’ve landed at the rest stop
past Phoenix and before Tucson. I really wanted to make it to my
favorite rest stop the other side of Tucson
but it is so very hot & I’m not going to tax the truck.
Jess is okay to travel with – she has her i-pad i-pod
whatever it is that plays music, & I have my book on tape. I’m reading
“Saving Grace” & I recommend it 10000%. I feel really lucky to have such a
great read as I drive.
A crisp old white man with drooping chubby pink cheeks, a new bright blue
shirt, pale eyes that don't blink, creased trousers and a mop of white-white hair, comes up to me as I
park, asking me to explain the truck.
I try to stifle my disbelief when he says he’s never heard
of Monsanto, genetically-modified food, or terminator seeds. I explain all
three as briefly as I can, as his eyes slide sideways & lose interest after a sentence or two
We move on to the back of the truck & he reads each word
out-loud. I tell him it’s time, we have to disarm.
His eyes have indignantly zeroed in on my “turn off fox: bad
news for america” bumper sticker.
He puffs his cheeks, leans forward to wave over the sticker & peers at me, inquiring a wounded “but why?”
I tell him fox spouts hate. He shakes his head,
disbelieving. I urge him to face the truth, fox tells him to hate people like
me, lesbians, Jews, single mothers.
He denies the Jew hatred but he believes the lesbian and
poor part. I tell him we have to stop hating each other.
He gets that vacant look again, then perks up and asks me as
he waves his hands in a much broader arc this time, with his thick southern accent, questions “where is jesus in all this?”
What a good question. I ask if he heard what I said, about
stopping the hate – how much more christ-like can one get?, about me being a
I spell it out for him: we are ALL children of the creator,
not just jesus: I point to his round beer belly that is thinly disguised by his
blue shirt tails that billow softly in the breeze over the hump & declare he is a child of god, I am
Jesus, he mutters distraught, but where is jesus. I tell him see, I told
you I’m a Jew – why would I have jesus on my vehicle?
Well, he huffs very christ-like as he turns heel, you have a nice day.
I don’t give my usual response “as nice a day as the people
we are bombing at least” but I urge him instead to have a thoughtful day.