The Legend of CA Man | A Tale of Tay
Shasta Lake’s teal ripples melted into the shoreline and I tried to reach out to touch them, only to find my right hand was full of tiny blue mountains. I giggled. I guzzled what was left in the can and held it up in front of my eyes until the mount...
We reentered Bear Mountain Pizza under its awful awning. My eyes darted from corner to corner for the massive, bearded man we seemed eternally attached to. Ben Then and Ben Now eyed me from the wall. CA Man was nowhere to be found.
We gathered on the lawn behind Bear Mountain Pizza. By then, the clouds were spinning with my mind. The ground felt like it was up and the sky was down. Gravity was backwards. I probably did too many substances, but I didn’t care.
A very confused and heartbroken trucker grew smaller next to a lump in the middle of the road behind us. We were still going the wrong direction, but for now all that mattered was getting away from the scene of the crime.
Before sunrise the next morning, I found myself speeding away from Camp 9. Roy was riding shotgun and every substance I’d ingested the night before still coursed through my veins with fervent vengeance. What the fuck did we just do?
Never seen anything like that before, I said, watching the ranger chide 1.0 in the distance. Gonna stare at him all day? asked CA Man, sneaking up behind us. Give me a heart attack, why don’t you? I jumped. You scare too easily.
No, no, no, no, I cried, cranking the engine. It turned over, but a heinous knocking sound pounded from inside the hood like a mad man trying to get out of his cage. What do we do now? We can’t stay with this guy. We have no choice, I replied.
CA Man hadn’t said a word since we left Kramer Junction, an intersection so significantly in the middle of nowhere that its original three roadside stands and two gas stations had bloomed into a town, if you could call it that.
I need to stop taking drugs every time I get bored, I said. Did that actually just happen? We were speeding away from The Crater of Mad Mike, looking for the next place to devour any kind of alcohol and substance absorbing foods.
Hey, isn’t that CA Man? I asked, pointing to a man walking on the road a few miles from the RV camp. Did he just wander the desert at all times of the day? How on earth was he still barefoot? After a half-hearted debate, we decided not to stop.