Guck (gucky) wrote,

Perfect moment.

It was a Thursday, although I had woken up in the dark at a strange hotel after five hours of sleep so my brain still parsed it as Wednesday night. I got on the 405 south and trusted the GPS on my phone to guide me in the thick gray blankets of fog that blocked all but a few inches of twisting reflectors on the empty highway. The crappy Chevy Cruze sputtered and whined as I asked it to go faster. I was cold, but I kept the fan on my face to keep from nodding out. The fuzzy local NPR (KNPR) drifted in and out with every curve and corridor, a strange amalgam of news and ambient fuzz filling the tinny speakers long after I lost KROQ. I drove and drove and drove in a trance, slapping myself awake a few times to remember where I was, where I was going.

I promised myself I'd stop along the way if I made good time, reward myself with a Diet Coke, a Coke Zero, at the next shining fast food sign along the highway. The fog banks, murky purple and dusty blue made way for a gleaming yellow rounded m off in the distance. The adrenaline got me to the exit just as the first light of dawn poured over the sad Home Depot next door.

Pulling into the drive thru[sic], I was surrounded by towering ferns and birds of paradise flowers sprinkled with shining morning dew. A smiling case told me that "Adventure Time toys are here!" prompting me to utter, "Mathematical!" instinctively to the fuzzed voice of Morning Edition. A pleasant, tired teenager handed me a bag filled with a plain biscuit, a giant Coke Zero, a strawberry smoothie and a "boy happy meal toy" - no extra .10 for the bag, even.

As I pulled back onto the Highway, Finn triumphantly ruling the rental car's dash, the sun rose dramatically, smeared with searing orange and tropical pinks lighting the air force jet trails like an '80s neon art piece, the local music station fading in, the caffeine kicking in, all of San Diego sprawled out before me like a California cliche train board, and more than an hour left to get to my first meeting of the day. This. This is what's worth living for.
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