I. On The Bus
In California, hitch hiking on the freeway is illegal. In downtown Los Angeles, trying to hitch a ride on the freeway is not only illegal, it’s stupid. Cars are chaining onto the I-5 from the I-10 at 60 miles per hour, and there’s nowhere to stop.
“This is no good,” I say to Naomi. “We’ll need a fucken helicopter.”
“Or an angel,” she quips right back. She’s standing facing traffic, her weathered gaze calmly searching the alarmed faces of drivers as they whip around the curved on-ramp. Her swirly India-print skirt is pulled to a tempting angle by an invisible hand. Nearly invisible: the back-draft of nomadic Angelinos lets fly an asthma of dust, shredded leaves, and small rocks being quickly pulverized to more dust. Naomi stands immune, or as if she herself is a part of the wind. She has the slim legs of a girl.
Smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest interchanges on the planet. The oil-shortage crisis having been recently declared officially over, it seems to me that the drivers are feeling extravagant, wasteful of their Jurassic inheritance, and heedless of the two waifs standing on the banks of the raging river of speed. Naomi gives up trying to charm a ride with her mesmerizing eyes, and comes and stands beside me. She’s immediately hypnotized by the rhythm of tail lights racing away. Continue reading