Friday, August 20

Self Portrait XVIII

I pack up the SUV and we are off to La Veta. As with the majority of families across this great country of ours, I drive. The car may be the last bastion of the 1950s male. Here we are, the American Dad, behind the wheel with our aviator sunglasses, in complete control of the family and by extension - everything else. No doubt the children fight in the back and I swing away; we get lost which causes the only serious arguments in my relationship with my wife; we stop at family restaurants and sit in booths and eat hamburgers and french fries. A vacationing family with two attractive teen-agers sit next to us at the car rental and I note to the father that we are a few years behind them; he eyes me up and sagely replies: “Expect the unexpected.” The teens stair at me blankly. Can't wait for the next five years.

Denver to La Veta is due south and a pleasant drive through open space. We pass through Pueblo, Fort Garland (Air Force academy there) and Colorado Springs where we pull off the highway for lunch at Chilli's (ghastly) and I run across the street to a 7-11 to use the pay-phone to call Astorg Partners. I learn that there are very few public telephones left while mobile to Europe stupidly expensive. 7-11 is a vision of hell. A woman waits for a call and smokes away - two-feet from me. Another, not unattractive, pulls in to buy fags and fill her brown Dodge with gas. There is a video rental machine next to me. Scruffy children buy candy that would make mine cry if they were here. Nasty. The other thing about CS, and I think most sprawling cities, is how difficult it is to walk. Crossing the town's main street, which is more like a highway, takes patience and care – these driving bastards will hit you. There is a narrow, unused, crosswalk and, to somebody's credit, I find a pedestrian light. I wait five minutes for 20 seconds which is barely enough time to cross five lanes. After Chilli's we complete this American moment at Baskin Robbin's 31-wonderful flavors. Gotta roll with it.

Eitan examines a box of Russell Stover chocolates: “Oh, I need to eat this.”