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September 29, 2005
on the third day... we sat around the table in the kitchen. my father had just shown me how to convert the windows in my apartment to winter mode (i had no idea such a thing existed,) and my mother asked for the fifth time why i did not like her food. (I had just downed a giant plate of "stuff" that would make me have pretty serious nightmares later that night.) I was excited that soon my father and I would be sitting in a car going over the lonely roads of california. my parents actually brought some maps from Germany. I took out the Nevada/California map, requested a pencil and drew the loop of our planned trip onto it. "Look, here," I began to draw, "we will land in Las Vegas, then go over here and here on the first day, in death valley, then go over here to this lake, then drive through yosemite, then drive south and see the giant trees." My parents both stared at me perplexed. "The last day will be a bit tough," i continued, "we will need to drive from here all the way back to Las Vegas. But it should be okay. THis here and this here are highways. And we are both drivers. It should be allright." I put down the pencil and leaned back. I had just drawn a loop on the map which connected three incredibly beautiful areas of this planet. Even on the German map they were marked with special dots and bright green color. I was glowing. My parents stared. Silently. "this is cool, no?" I looked at their gloomy faces. "so he will not get to see the ocean?" My mother spoke of my dad as if he were a whale we had been keeping in the bathtub so we can turn it into fish oil for christmas. "the ocean is pretty far from where we are going." pause. "no beach?" my mother added. "no beach?" (my father now spoke too.) "look, there is no beach where we are going. but that does not mean this is going to be a bad trip. you know, we would have to travel pretty damn far from where we are going just so father can stand on the beach." "but you were just in santa monica. are you guys not flying to california? to los angeles?" "we are flying into las vegas and out of las vegas." "no beach?" "no beach." "no los angeles?" "no. it is really far away. besides, this trip is about something else. this is about dad and i going into a place that looks different than anything he has ever seen before. you are going to the beach together when you send your camper to california and then drive around the west for 90 days or whatever your european vacation is." "then we will also go to colorado." "sure." "and san francisco and san diego" "wherever you guys want to go. anywhere. just go and have fun. this trip was supposed to be a sampler. an appetizer. have you seen the pictures? why are you so surprised? Look, the places where I am going to take father are really incredible." "just make sure he eats enough." "oh, for God's sake." And this was when my father added: "maybe i should not go." oh boy. i hear that fish and visitors go bad after the third day. yesterday was the third day. i have a little more to go before my father and i finally hit the road. i can't wait. (or something like that.)