By Patrick Moorman
My family often trekked many miles through neon landscapes and wrappers stuck together with old ketchup and scary truckers with scary facial hair to find our little dirt hills and wooded alcoves. Sometimes we had this trailer that liked to force pit stops. On this particular day with this particular trailer, we were sailing on the dusty Nevada desert like the maniacs from Mad Max… except the soundtrack didn’t really match.
My parents had given us headphones for the DVD player, promising it would drown out the dry rasp of market crashes and GITMO and drone strikes. Sadly, NPR can always find a way back into your ears. The back left tire of the popup decided it was time to rest just as the women on my parent’s speaker declared “post-racial soc…” and the cartoon animal on my small monitor smoothly lamented “I like them chunky.” The tired rubber let out a sigh and slumped down. I don’t know what offended him more: the political commentary or anthropomorphic walruses.
“Fuck… fuck fuck fuck,” my dad muttered under the blazing sun. My mom crossed her arms behind him (holding in a chuckle) as he performed an operation on the sleeping tire.
Earlier she had warned him, “We should stop and inflate the tires.”
“There’s nothing in this state. Let’s speed past,” he responded.
I’m like my dad. I always want to go past and through and not stop until I’m home. When I turned sixteen this resulted in a few empty tanks in a few empty places. I knew the AAA guy by name. I even remember one time waiting for Aaron, I was listening to that same woman from my parent’s speakers mock some joke-candidate named Donald Trump.
While, I guess Nevada heard my dad speak and got offended. Off in the distance I saw a weird grouping of dusty old Cadillacs, raised up like spokes on a crown. I started to wander off in the direction. My sisters followed. My mom called to us, “Keep your phone with you. Don’t wander off too far.”
It was nice to be trusted like that, even as a stupid eight year old. They had to pick and choose their battles I guess, considering I had almost fallen down waterfalls and canyons on this trip already. The whole time I had wanted to be home. I always missed my bed and my skateboard and my Xbox when faced with pure unadulterated beauty.
As we approached this mirage, we saw a sign: The world’s largest car sculpture. There was a reason to stop after all. My sisters and I sat down and gazed at the big rusty thing. Eventually, my parents caught up and sat too. I was home.