Road NotesAnji Reyner
Belted Galloways mingle in clumps, Canadian Geese guard a log. Traffic is sparse today, for all the usual reasons. I follow two rivers and race a train. The train pulls in front of me, and then veers off to the left. I suppose that is a sort of winning. The voice coming from the stereo makes me melancholy, but just until the next song. Then I do the robot with my head and free arm. I pass through a series of water towns. An orange monster truck roars away on a perpendicular artery. A tamarisk's banned invasiveness tempts garden desires. I follow a slow vehicle and eventually forget that I want to pass. A dead towel sits on the center line. Off to the side, corrugated metal mailbox shields still stand against the threat of winter plows. The cedar preserve north of here. LEAVING MONTANA. REPORT WILDFIRES. Life Flight is perched in a school parking lot. Heads all around are cradled by hands. Snacks slip to the floor as I reach for the water bottle and drive on. Traffic jams signal the upcoming town. A Prius cuts off a logging truck and I block the intersection. The smell of french fries. Minivan Man next to me licks his soft-serve cone. A detour leads me to a convenience store. Inside, I purchase prepared mojitos. In an effort to squeeze through the crowd that is waiting to pay, my bag hand brushes the butt of a bystander who refuses to move. I easily feign idiocy and run-walk to the car. With nine miles to go, I welcome the return of quick and deserted pavement. I pull up listening to another kind of punk.
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