Thursday, February 2, 2012


The Road from Ruin


by

Jaye Beldo

Part III



Epochal, insane driving weather en route across the northern plains and range country last week. Trucks and buses pulled off a wind torn freeway in Montana. Orange, looming dust clouds closed I-15 down north of Idaho Falls, thus detouring us to side roads, both desolate and eerily far removed from the main current. I expected to crash into the Four Horsemen Stables, exploding hay bales with my Malibu as a kind of end time fanfare.   SUVs passed me going 80 mph on ice/snow packed roads while status updating their assumed immortality to their Facebook friends. The snowless mountains groaned, while I white knuckled it over the passes en route, perhaps agonizing that they'll be inundated  and forgotten until another geologic recycling brings them to light again and the locals, fretting over the loss of tourist dollars can thus rejoice.

People wear heartbreak on their sleeves here in Idaho, hoping it will somehow pass off as mere weathering from the elements to the tourists and nothing more. This is how people back home would appear sans the Minnesota nice, thus the telling visages are most welcome, even if they cause the casual outsider to think that there is something nuclear at the core of the sadness and the peculiar and pervasive amnesia found here.

Long haired guy at a spa  in  Hot Springs town: saw him in back earlier in the day after I tried entering the coffee shop section, but door was locked w/ sign in window: Massage in session until 11:30.“Understaffed.” I grumbled, ambling back to my car over icy asphalt, sight unseen I had hoped. Saw him again at night, but in front this time, a kind of spiritual shiftiness about him as he leaned on a doorway, back drop enhanced by the glowing orange Ganesh tapestry in the store window. It was as if he had some other business in mind and couldn’t help looking suspect, fists jammed tight in dungaree pockets, scanning the street like he did the alley earlier, perhaps in search of better camouflage or a tactful way out. As I drove on by, the business card his girlfriend gave me two years prior, glazed over with his own sprawled artwork, came to mind. With the spa partner in absentia , she crossed the embossed e-mail address out and penned hers on the back, prior to handing it to me, a gesture I more fully appreciate now, having better grasped the import of the situation at hand and most thankful I never pursued the lead.

 The couple at the Thai restaurant up the street donned their smugness so nonchalantly, self consciousness giving hint to an impalpable insecurity, one the woman tried covering with her pink, mouse eared ski hat, a contrivance designed to alienate the uninitiated. The bearded hubby guy in black North Face duds sneered at me peripherally, leaned over the table and shared some Android secret with his wife,to further insure their distance from me. Bragging about their California travel itinerary to a weary looking kid waiter, they laughed in unison over the greasy spring rolls, unaware of the self parodying pun they were making, mere icing on the cake of their nuptial conceit.

I'll post some more later. For now, back to soaking in the hot springs and unwinding from the world if at all possible :-).

Best,

Jaye Beldo

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