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16 Dec 2001 / 12:28 a.m.
.:  a trip across an empty place

tommorow i drive from reno to grand junction colorado to see my family. at 6am i will scrape ice from my windshield with a cigarette in my mouth, hot menthol smoke warming icey pre-dawn air pollution. i will cash my holiday bonus check at baldini's casino, buy coffee and energy drinks, then climb the hills east of Sparks. for the next 9 hours i will be alone in the great basin - music, engine hum, and quiet still desert. i will stop for fuel in elko. my friend liberty told me once about growing up in a trailer in elko, surrounded by racists. i grew up in a place like that, too. then more desert until i skirt the northern edge of the great salt lake. i will stop again in salt lake city. years ago i was tossed off the grounds of the mormon temple for smoking there. i was stretching my legs after hours in a greyhound bus, trapped next to a window seat, pinned in by a car thief from Fresno. he was tweaking, and telling me how to get in to and hotwire every Chevy ever made. after slc 4 more hours through eastern utah - mesas, rock spires, scrub brush. then, grand juction. my family's home. i am looking forward to it - forward to the solitary travel, forward to the people on the other side of the great basin. 12-14 hours alone, thinking, listening.

i have a secret cargo.

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