Yesterday, Husband and I drove from Tahoe to home. Actually, he drove and I slept. I nodded off somewhere east of Donner Pass, five minutes after we bought two lattes to go at the stand in front of the hardware store In Truckee. (Lattes with low-fat milk near a sign that said, "Sorry, we can no longer sell lids separately from garbage cans.") The latte was delicious but ineffective. Something in my brain shuts off as soon as an engine hits a certain RPM. I also conk out in airplanes, often before takeoff. Long journeys are reduced by many hours. This is a blessing, unless I am driving and you are the passenger.
I awoke three hours later because someone called me on my cell phone. By then we were on Highway 37, past Vallejo. Wow, fast trip from Tahoe. Very nice. Husband said traffic was terrible. Frank Sinatra was singing on Sirius radio, "Come fly with me!" Husband was still staring diligently at the road, dog was still snuggled in her bag on my lap. As I talked on the phone, I noticed telephone wire bisecting the view in my passenger window, and then the blot of a very large bird flew by. I looked back. A raven? No, not black, a chunky brown, a bird receding into the past along a wire that stayed parallel and ever-present in my window. Wait, wait, perhaps a hawk with rumpled feathers, perhaps a juvenile. A hawk, Husband confirmed, there were two, thus confirming that he took his eyes off the road. Then my eyes zoomed over an egret standing in the ditch. Or did the egret zoom past my eyes? Which perspective? Did the egret in the ditch notice cars? Black or brown or blue cars, or just cars, or just blots? Then my eyes and another egret in a ditch zoomed in opposite directions. What was so great about standing in a ditch?
Soon we merged onto Highway 80 South to San Francisco. And ever so quickly, after one latte, a phone call, four birds, and Sinatra, I was home, standing still and wide awake.
Causes Amy Tan Supports
Self Help for the Elderly
Squaw Valley Community of Writers
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Opera