Monday, June 14, 2010

The Rotten Oasis

Somewhere between Point A and Los Angeles, Jill and I ended up at a roadside rest stop where the soda was warm, the gas was unreasonably expensive and a sign next to the cash register politely asked that customers not complain about the aforementioned fuel price.

At one point in its history, this spot — right off Interstate 40? Interstate 15? I can’t remember where exactly… — had been groomed to be some kind of artificial oasis for thirsty motorists and their thirsty automobiles. It is no longer, but I liked it all even more for its fountains being dry, its cement being cracked and its plants either dead or overgrown, depending on how well they thrive in hot, dry, windblown conditions. It is no oasis. It is no place anyone would ever want to be, much less one that travelers would be happy to arrive at if they needed to refuel.

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Here’s to the smell of baking asphalt and the sound of cars blowing by at ninety miles an hour.

And no, we didn’t end up getting gas here.

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