Friday, April 9

Paso - Paradise Lost

It just wasn't the dramatic horror show I somewhat
expected. Rubbled remnants had been removed. Most
businesses were bustling. Traffic was trafficking. And
spring's mind-blowing symphony of color and warmth
was mesmerizing.

Sanitized --- except for the tourist attractions: the
aquatic sulfur pit, demolished corners, red-tag graffiti,
and warning signs posted here and there.

Normalized --- except for the at-your-wit's-end drivers
who are cursing the day they moved or landed a job
east of the Salinas River. We drove into town on a nearly
deserted Union Road from Hwy. 46, waited at the bottom
of the hill for a loaded truck leaving a new development
with its graded dirt. The flagman didn't smile. Clue number

Mobilized --- Then we tried to merge onto the 13th Street bridge
at the bottom of Creston Road. It was about 2:30 and
the cars were backed up a quarter mile up the hill. The
car in front of me made a mad dash at the traffic, trying
to squeeze into the flow. Unfortunately, he picked the
wrong van to squeeze in front of. The van driver wasn't
impressed. In fact, he was SSSSSSOOOOOOO unimpressed
that he almost rear-ended that poor little car in front of
him. Got right up on the other guy's bumper like he was
going to kick him in the pants. The man in front had to open
his door to see if there was enough room to keep
going without getting hit! Thankfully, neither one of them
had a gun. Unbelievable! At least to me. But
what do I know? I'm a foreigner now. A bona fide alien who
lives 235 miles away and only visits a few times a year.

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