“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive….” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. “What the hell are you yelling about?” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. “Never mind,” I said. “It’s your turn to drive.” I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.”
Seems an appropriate beginning for a novel, and truly for any of these crazy early mornings running from pandemic into global war. The headlines this morning are now alluding to potential conflict between Russia and China, and why not since we’ve set the clock back to 1945 or so? We’ll all be sitting around the dinner table, or wherever we take our food these days as family dinners seem to be an outdated concept, discussing nuclear war. The big fear is upon us now and it’s hard to put feelings to it. It all seems so familiar, as well it should. This is what my generation was weened and raised on. Radioactive catastrophe was talked about as an inevitability well into the 80s and then we decided to exhale for a bit after the Iron Curtain fell. It never really fell though, did it? It never truly existed. There was a geopolitical divide certainly, but it was always a lot more fluid than was divulged. It was more a smokescreen than a wall or a curtain. It’s always been about who would profit the most off of the world’s dwindling resources, and how many people we would have to let die to maintain dominance and dominion.
A cheery good morning to you all!
Anyway, it looks like I just mentioned the bats. Sorry about that. Here, let me turn up the radio. Dance and shimmy in your seats for a bit. It will take your mind off these bumps in the road.