Create: Road Trip Two, Episode Two

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Morning run. Three miles, no more no less. Slow and steady and a chance to clear the mind and body. The blue glow of 5 AM comes and goes, lost in the drifting mire of half-sleep and dream. What will the day bring and what must I bring to it. Heel strikes on the pavement. First west toward the tracks then back east and south. As I near the freeway the diversity increases. More races, more languages floating from yards and streets. I smell cigars, cigs, and the sweet sticky-ness of California bud. The houses become smaller, less well built perhaps but meticulously maintained. Swept, groomed, and polished with pride dating back to the first foothold in America. This is, after all, what we are about, what we stand for. Give us your tired and poor and we give back a sense of hope. We as in all of us, together.

The vehicles I pass are diverse too but dated. Models pushing the limits of the 1980s, some even hinting at the ’70s. More miles, more dings but also spotless and paid for. A man smokes a backlit blunt as the roar of traffic from the 101 flows over the sound wall and into the lives below. The urban version of a babbling brook.

Turning west and into the wealth, the options diminish. Audi, Lexus, Range Rover, and the dreaded Tesla, innovative yet exclusionary. Flawed yet fundamentally focused on rocking the boat. A boat long mired in complacency, corruption, and the injection of uncut capitalism. Fences and gates, locks, and security. Wary looks at the man in tights. Where do you belong?

I sink deeper into the mind. Breath, heart, and pulse the soundtrack of another time and place. Focused yet free. I will leave you now.