“Turn off your fucking radio.”
I am not inclined to do so. I poke at the dial, dropping the volume, raising it back up. He continues. “Every time I sit in your car, there’s always something playing. We haven’t had a moment of silence. It’s annoying.” He has a point.
I turn it off. “That feels so much better,” he says.
And he’s right.
We talk. About real things, unobstructed. I make a U-turn at the light, drop down El Toro and keep on driving. We are talking about art. Then he asks me where I’m going. “I don’t know.” But in my secret heart of hearts, I do know, it’s down the street and up the mountain, past the biker bar, something else altogether; above us tree branches intertwine and form a natural tunnel. Bucolic, pastoral, enviously didactic.
The lesson: a primer on expectations.
“So what do you think?”
“Yea, actually, yea. I think it really works.”
* * *
Between freeways, after dinner, we slide through Alton and signal on San Marino. “Is this it?” I ask, and he has a look on his face. We’ve been driving an hour, hopping from random inlet to ponderous path, doubling-back, tripling-forward, and spinning in our graves. Quest.
“Do you remember anything?”
Up ahead, we swing in. Ahead, the road breaks off.
We whoop at the same time. Familiar green gates, a park, the swimming pool where we learned how to fly. “Oh my god, I think you found it.” Our car makes a left, makes a right, putters past the cul-de-sac.
“This is where we grew up.”
“Yea! And that’s where I almost got ran over.”
“Do you think we would have turned out differently if we stayed?”
* * *
Goodnight moon. Yip yip. Submarines @ the Echo in L.A. Thanks David. But I lost my CD stumbling out the venue.