As Ed traveled along through the Arizona desert he started to think about why he took this trip in the first place. The vastness of the desert, the heat that rose up from the road and the sound of the motor lulled him away, back into his own memories. Ellen had left him and he simply wanted to escape.
Taking time off work was easy, getting his mom to watch the kids was even easier. Since Ellen left Ed wasn’t much fun to be around so the kid’s enjoyed being at Grandma’s a lot.
Car, train, plane, boat or motorcycle? Motorcycle. Out of the back corner of the garage came the ’69 Bonneville. Ed and the Bonnie had been together since she rolled out of the Triumph dealer brand new.
Whenever life seemed to get tough, time on the Bonnie cured everything. Ed had solved the world’s problems from the seat of that motorcycle. The Vietnam War? Ended somewhere between Lake Tahoe and L.A.. Over population in India? Easily fixed outside Steamboat Springs. Starving kids in Africa? Cured in Montana. Ginger or MaryAnne? That’s easy, MaryAnne. Now, deep in the Arizona desert, Ed had a new problem to solve.
The ride had been pretty uneventful so far. In the time between Reseda and Palm Springs, Ed had figured out that either his trusty old leather jacket had shrunk or married life had put a few pounds on him. He opted for the jacket shrinking. A short but expensive stop at Madman’s Motorcycle Mall and Ed was much more comfortable.
Tucson seemed to be a good goal for the first day, but a dinner stop would come sooner. Nyland, California. This is where you set your watch back, About twenty years. “Home Cookin’ and Cold Beer” said the sign outside Tiny’s Diner. Ed trusted the large number of eighteen wheelers and pickup trucks outside more than Tiny’s sign. Inside Tiny’s, the noise level was at last five times louder than Ed’s Bonneville. Truckers talking with each other as if they were on their CB radios, farmers talking loud enough to be heard over their tractors, cooks and waitresses yelling orders at each other and over all this was Johnny Paycheck sing “Take this job and shove it” on the jukebox. The smell inside Tiny’s Diner ranged from dirt to diesel to fried onions, except for Polly the waitress, she wore perfume that smelled like Gardenias.
The sun had already set when Ed left Tiny’s. Fill up the tank, put on the new jacket and head for Tucson. In the dark, the desert is even more vast and desolate. Distances between towns seem to grow and the number of cars and trucks gets smaller. At one point Ed just pulled over and stopped. He shut off the Bonneville’s motor. The dark and stillness of the desert night covered ed completely. No matter how many stars there were in the sky his world was totally dark. Why did she leave?