Friday, February 16, 2007

The Long Journey Home

The next day we checked out of the hotel, picked up dad from the hospital and drove home.

Interstate 5 is long and boring. It's as straight as a hypodermic needle and is about as painful. There is nothing to see. There are no good restaurants along the way. Only fast food places are available just off the exits. If you travel up or down California use 101. You'll die of boredom using 5.

And so mom and I talked on the way up while dad dozed in and out of consciousness in the back seat. When he came to he'd kibitz my driving. I told him that anxiety was unhealthy. Besides, I have pills.

But were were getting hungry. After being in the hospital and visiting with doctors who carry needles we didn't want to stop at any heart-attack hamburger place. We hoped against hope we'd find something along the way that would offer a fresh salad and other healthy choices.

We did find the famous Pea Soup Anderson's and stopped. But they had a fire earlier that morning and were closed for business.

It was back on the highway. Or was it? There was a truck stop (Mid Cal Truck Stop I think it was called) across the way. The owner suggested we try it. We wished we hadn't.

As soon as I walked in I felt as though I'd been transported back 20 years. One tall cowboy walked through in a cowboy hat, jeans, boots, and a cowboy shirt with pointed yolk and pocket flaps with pearly white snaps. Fat folks sat around desperate tables and faded chairs munching deep fried chicken breasts and thighs. Folks looked like they took way too may trips to the all-you-can-eat buffet. They just as well could hang an IV bag of fat and attach that to their veins.

But the eggs weren't bad. (What can you do to eggs?) And so after we ate we left.

When we reached the outside we breathed a sigh of relief but were only accosted by a 250 pound guy with half his backside hanging over his bench chair. He was actually sitting on his belt loops. Dude, tuck it in. He won't survive long. I can almost hear the ambulance coming for him.

I tried exercise to burn my fat but it didn't work. It smelled like bacon and just made me more hungry.