Hwy 5

by Sonja Kramer Haag

I stand here at a gas station oasis, fumes rising up off the drops of spilt gasoline like a serpent out of a muddy, oily swamp, licking salty sweat of my upper lip and squinty through glasses into the dry abyss.

I finally understand why the 1 is much preferred. But, what people should have been telling me is that no one in their right mind takes highway 5 unless looking for something similar to a death sentence.

This road, once out of LA, tries to pretend its taking you on a somewhat enjoyable journey through mountains that can barely consider themselves as such. The gold sandy hills roll around the road a bit, as entertaining as one would find a baby armadillo, watching with interest but knowing what it is to become, a desert dwelling shell of an animal that’s neither cuddly nor tolerable to have just moseying around a lifeless back yard.

The deception of these hills and of highway 5 become apparent when, like the hoof of an Ox that takes no consideration to what’s in its path, these hills are trampled down to a dusty hot sand box that is ignore by all the kids at recess because some 1st grader took a shit in it.

What’s left of the 5 is the stank of that 1st graders fecal matter and a disgruntled gas station attendant that has to clean up after it, working in a dark and desolate “oasis” 15 miles outside of anything recognized as a town, where the price of gas reflects the inconsiderate absorption of our resources.

So, who is left to suck whatever life is left out of this god forsaken earth but the farmers that are over feeding America with the meat of sad, mistreated cattle and the corn of fields that are raped over and over each year.

Well, with that said I’m sure this journey can only turn into something more pleasant as I head to the city of neck breaking hills and golden gates that open over flowing waters and air so thick it will rest on your skin like a moist towelette cleansing you of your sick guilty conscience that would, again and again take that journey down the 5, screaming to the hills mad and nonsensical phrases of conquering the world and laughing in the wake of some 95 mile per hour speeds that rush you in and out quickly enough beforeyuou can find your head.