I am crossing the Mojave. I mistakenly never got gas in Kingman. If my temperamental gas gauge is correct I can probably get to Barstow with about twenty miles to spare. But is the gauge ever correct? Showed about 145 miles left if I have some luck and a tailwind or two.
|Sommers takes the final sand nap, Mojave|
To make matters worse I only had a slight sip of water left, having a personal rule that you never take the last sip, ever. I know, I know, should have had an ample supply of water but I didn't so please give me a break. Run out of gas? Check. Die of thirst in the middle of desert? Check. Finish my novel? Damn, I never even started my novel.
I ambled along steely on my journey through death's doggy door. After an interminable purgatory in the vast desert wasteland, I finally decided to cut my losses and apprehension. I stopped at the Indian clip joint in Newberry Springs for a single gallon of gas, priced to sell at a mere $4.93 a gallon. Would make my survival a near certainty. And let me make myself clear, when I say Indian I am talking red dot, not feather, although this guy may have been born on the other side of their own particular Mason Dixon line.
One of these places out here in Newberry, Amboy, Ludlow, Essexland used to have a sign behind the counter that said any complaints about the prices and you were 86'd. So you learn to grin and bear it. Take your whipping silently and skedaddle. Not like you have any options.
The gas I would say was a bargain at twice the price. I would survive and be able to live comfortably through both global warming and the next Presidential sweepstakes. I splurged for water to boot, attractively retailing in Newberry Springs for a bit over two bucks a pint. Had been dreaming about a popsicle but none could be found. I grimly settled on an ice cream sandwich but there was no way it could satiate my craving in the intense desert heat. What craven oasis from hell can't even sell a goddamn popsicle?
Did I mention that said establishment smelled like the worst abattoir in Calcutta? That the curry smell at the front door that mingled in a hellish symphony with the pungent body odor of the swarthy cashier was so strong that corpses on the Ganges would have jumped off their rafts and started dog paddling for the exits at one whiff of the place. You see there is a makeshift Punjabi restaurant next door or what passes for one in this lonely land of scorpions and crank.
Your devoted scribe will pretty much eat anything. But I would sooner suck the pig poop out of a chitlin than eat Indian food. Garam masala makes me hurl. And here I was trapped inside the desert's own fetid tandoori oven from hell.
To be continued...