Night. Morning. Drunks leaving the bar. Black sky. No moon, no stars. 455 empty miles. That we call Nebraska. Heading to the ocean as slow as I can. No water in sight, west of Grand Island. Red and blue lights strobing and flashing. A big truck on its side, leaking diesel. Driver nowhere to be found. What happened here?
I think of my son. Down in Honduras. Comayagua dust covers his bare feet. Hanging out on the corner with his friends. Black eyes and red hair, looking for somewhere to go, something to do. He’d be 17. An old teenager. An angry young man. Left in the Comayagua dust while daddy drives over the golden roads of America.
I think of his mother. She knew what she wanted. She wanted to watch TV. I’d pay extra for the hotel room with the color TV. When I was done, I’d sleep while she stayed up watching game shows in Spanish. In the morning, a hazy sun, dogs poking through the trash for breakfast, I’d go to work and she’d go home. Wherever that was.
Light coming up behind me now. On the border. Plains and mountains, deserts and rivers. Ocean to ocean. One day, even the oceans will turn to dust.
Probably I don’t have a son. Probably she lied to me. She knew what she wanted.
But driving across the 455 empty miles of Nebraska, it’s nice to imagine that I’m not so alone.