Saturday, September 13, 2003

who would the Donner party eat today? (my hand is raised for something else like trying to feel Johnny leave his post, don't mind me) 

Squaw Valley California near the Donner Pass listening to RUSTY CAGE Johnny Cash sounding like he finally pushed through his pain "I'm gonna BREAK! I'm gonna break my rusty cage and RUN!" break for the direction June ran and run Johnny run!

we'll miss you but understand gettin' where love's gone

we had lunch at the Donner Lake Kitchen because of the creepy irony of it and Maggie snapped a picture of me growling at the door like a Donner cannibal even though i'm big enough to equal two of their hungriest brothers

been asking people everywhere we drive how they feel about Bush and Iraq

we sat at the Donner Kitchen lunch counter where we met Al Peltier who is a distant cousin of Leonard Peltier and who is FILLED with a rageful taste for justice and nothing short of it

he told us how all the rich folks are chopping out his beautiful valley to raise gated mansion communities

he's a contractor who installs wallpaper and he told us how these rich folks wanted to hire him because he came highly recommended but were embarrassed by his dirty beat-up old van and asked him to paint it and when he refused they created a separate entrance driveway into the community for him and when he refused to use it they insisted and then he refused to ever come back

"I'm gonna BREAK! I'm gonna break my rusty cage and RUN!"

Al says (this is so crazy) these same people are actually petitioning the local Safeway Supermarket to create a separate aisle just for members of this gated community who are exhausted with the long lines

the waitress who overheard this nodded to confirm

separate aisles separate schools separation anxiety we're all having separation anxiety afraid of what? afraid of cooties? afraid of losing the loot? yeah well i guess they're right that i want their loot but i want you to have it too no lie

turns out Al is a Vietnam vet and he insists that if you take the total number of American soldiers killed in Vietnam and factor in the total number of days we were in Vietnam that it's roughly the same number of American soldiers being killed so far in Iraq and Al says his heart breaks and can't hear the news

last night in Reno we took advantage of the free cocktails in the casinos and watched the gleaming teeth of the feeding at the machines and Black Jack tables this amidst circus performers and giant talking ceramic leprechauns and the ZZ Top coverband boy oh boy our cocktails made the decadence surreal enough to feel okay after having just driven through the salt basins and ATTEMPTING to have conversations with mormons about Bush and the great forthcoming (what?) wrath from (who?) someone called God

"I'm gonna BREAK! I'm gonna break my rusty cage and RUN!"

at one point a naked 400 pound woman (naked but for her black patent leather boots) was bouncing up and down outside and clicking her fingers by her cheeks and puffing her lips and making a "WOOooo!WOOooo!" sound until her skinny toothless boyfriend with the skull and crossed bones baseball cap shoved her in the van (which was covered with such writings as "WE REMEMBER 911" and "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS JUNE AND JOHNNY!") his pack of LUCKY STRIKES falling out of his shirt pocket

it's nights like this i imagine America's final days as a freshly planed forest surface with 2 gloved hands reaching over the sides scratching charcoal into one last hand of tic tac toe

and RUN!


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