Road Work





Dear J-

Although I typically spend much of the year in shorts and therefore am never at a loss for what to wear* theVet sometimes despairs of my choices with a kind of resigned sigh because compared with me she actually cares about such things as coordinating colors and matching, say, belt to shoes. Although I’m now a hopeless case and my appearance should not be considered an indictment of her efforts, she does freely edit what I’ve chosen for figgy (I suspect she actually buys clothes that are unable to be mis-coordinated — they can all match) because I don’t seem to have been born with a keen sense of color.

My favorite part of the trip north is passing through the San Luis Reservoir on California Highway 152. After coming out of the Grapevine you go through a hundred plus miles of flat flat flat land; once you hop off Interstate 5 onto CA-152 you go through hills and water that puts me in mind of the Europe I know from movies and pictures: lush peaks kissing a cloud-filled sky, winding road to delight and thrill in equal measures. I sometimes wonder if I should take this section to drive myself, as reward for slogging through the long dry straight, or turn it over as I get a chance to take pictures instead. One glance over at theVet is enough to tell me I made the right choice (no matter the choice — we have made both choices at different times).

We make for decent traveling companions when not stressed out by schedule or angry kids (they are at the moment asleep and therefore perfect), pointing out sights and spouting off obscure trivia in playful banter. The longer we spend tracing the routes laid out by the wise traffic planners I’m convinced I’m the luckiest guy in the world, surrounded by people I love and who love me enough to point out what I could be doing better and incredibly happy to do those thousand small courtesies that seem to come more naturally now than ever. The settings change and the pictures too: I could have sworn that college was five years away, not fifteen, but the feelings are constant.


* The sartorial program is absurdly simple:
If (going to work today)
  Then (khakis and polo shirt) and (stuff I didn’t wear yesterday)
Elseif (penguins show up outside)
  Then (jeans and t-shirt)
Else (shorts and t-shirt) and (sniff shirt to ensure acceptable)


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