You are in the passenger seat next to me as we leave the freeway and head west on a country lane. I am enjoying watching your reaction to the lovely scenery–the many shades of green with occasional glimpses of plum and the contrasting golden grass. In places the trees form a canopy overhead, with soft moss on all the trunks. The road sways left and right and left again as we flash through small valleys, each a tiny kingdom, with a solitary farmhouse-castle. Tiny towns with rustic Northwest names, like Drain and Elkton, with scattered paint-worn houses, and here and there the optimistically fresh-painted building. We follow the curves of the river, as it dashes through rocks on the left–slowly growing in size as we cross a sage green bridge–the depth and width now quite wide.
We pass the elk sanctuary and enter a larger town–with the surprise of enormous pink hanging flower baskets lining both sides of the forlorn Main Street. We turn left and head south. Life is, after all, a series of contrasts, and we have entered the land of the jello-bellied good ol’ boys in pickup trucks, meth-addled stringy snarly-haired men, and women who look worn out from life.
The radio grows fuzzy and we find a local oldies station–RADAR LOVE comes on and the pulsing rhythm fills the inside of the car. I look at you and grin and shimmy my shoulders to the beat.