Thursday, December 29, 2005

deserted & not-so-deserted ruins

Just had a quick roadtrip to Phoenix for xmas. An odd combination of ancient ruins, desert sand, and finding clean bathrooms in outlet centers in the middle of nowhere.

Along the 8, there were homes, miles apart in the pitch blackness, sad little things with a strand or two of icicle lights. They were almost like a cry for recognition. "Hey! We're stranded in the desert!"

For Christmas spirit, I thought how nice it would be to have lots of extra money, so we could just drop in on strangers and give them stuff to make them feel better. But knowing our luck, our first pick would be some kind of mafia safehouse. Guns would come out. "Get the hell in here and close the door." End of story.

There were real ruins, like Casa Grande. Yeah, it looks like one big building under a metal canopy, but if you care to look around, there are ruins knee-high or chest-high as far as the eye can see. Outlines of buildings, mounds, even one of those perplexing "ball fields" nobody can figure out.

There was a freaky UFO at a rest area. But it wasn't real.

Love those midnight truckstops. I wonder why so many of the trucks are left idling, stinking up the place, lights off, nobody home. If they're leaving the engines on just to run the air conditioner or heater, that's pretty lame. They can't all be in the shower at the same time.

There was a life-sucking couch. You know how those work.

There were whole malls being built just to annoy people. Mostly empty, especially for the holidays. At one such wasteland only the ceiling fan shop was open, and the big fountain outside was urping up a toilet-cleaner kind of ultra-blue water.

On one urban hike there were all kinds of loser lottery tickets on the ground outside an AM/PM. And what loser those people must have been, too. They just drop the tickets on the ground, thinking they will burst into flame or something, but it don't work that way, folks. Clean up after your frigging self.

At one point, there were swirls of cotton blowing across the road. Cotton fields everywhere (near Florence). I got an almanac for $3 at a discounted discount book shop, only to find that the #1 agricultural export from Arizona is ... cotton. I never would have guessed. I would have guessed cactus or something with spines on it, like artichokes.

Scattered thoughts from a tired brain.

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