“Before you slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss.”
Driving around the barren, California desert, it was somewhat appropriate to make The Doors the soundtrack. Having been born and raised here by Boomer parents, I suppose my earliest memories are melded with this musical genre-no matter how much I innately despise hippies and hippie culture. It was therefore inevitable that I share it with my own child, whose immediate revulsion to it made me smile.
We were driving through the ragged and unkempt streets of Salton City and Desert Shores. Now this was not the oft lauded North Shore side of the Salton Sea, which has been well documented by hipster culture and abandoned America programming. This would be the south side of the sea, in which there are humans very much living in mostly non-decrepit housing. Mostly. The side not experiencing an ironic renaissance at the hands of wealthy millennials. This is the side where poverty and the last vestiges of the 1960’s ideal of California are hanging on by the grace of the gods. And the deep pockets of state and federal aids.
For me, it’s the end of a long journey and the precipice of something unknown. Having abandoned the corporate world and working for others, I remain unemployed-not even pretending to look for work-have yet to decide what comes next. The past nine years have been a blur of firsts: parenthood, college, full-time, corporate work, and adulting so bad it made an ass hurt. But life is full of firsts, as prior to this stretch of time, I was a first-time business owner coming off the 90’s bod mod boom. By the mid-00s, I was more than ready to be done with the generation who failed to understand permanent. Or perhaps I just don’t “do” comfortable.
I am assuredly uncomfortable in my current circumstances. This life out in the boonies is driving me bonkers, or perhaps it is the not working. I knew going into this where we were headed and what it entailed: living with my father. The very one who as a drug-addled, Vietnam Vet filled my head with the same music I was torturing my son with, only I wasn’t smoking weed as we drove around. The very father who now requires daily assistance in his beloved barren wasteland that provides the isolation and solitude he desires. Which is perhaps the biggest WTF I have encountered: why am I helping?
For a control freak like me, this whole thing is bizarre. Maybe I just need to start smoking legal weed and listen to the words of the Lizard King.
“I think that you know what to do, girl, I’m sure that you know what to do.”