Grasshopper Soup: A highway full of perspective
January 19, 2010
So far it hasn’t snowed enough to require food drops in the Tahoe Basin. At least, not as of this writing. In the middle of a great snowstorm, and all the little inconveniences it can cause (like getting the living room carpet wet and removing all the snow from your car, or not) we need only to think of the tens of thousands of Haitians whose lives continue to be pummeled by heat, death, thirst, starvation and vicious thugs who would steal water from an old man and take food from a baby.
In spite of all that, as the beautiful Haitian people sit disabled with infectious injuries, some of them even smile.
It only took three hours for me to get home to Tahoe City from Reno Monday night. I lost an hour due to poor judgment.
Actually, it was a case of good judgment deliberately thrown out the window. On the way down to Reno (my mom thinks it’s up) I had already decided to take the Hirschdale exit and go through Glenshire on my way back. After chugging and spitting and coughing with wet spark plugs all the way up and down and over and out and back, my mind went in to overdrive as I approached the only exit to the only shortcut a sensible person could take on the last evening of a three day holiday weekend.
I was thinking about the incredible flying dream I had earlier that morning. I only hope everybody has flying dreams like that one. Dreams of flying can be frustrating, because they often involve only a brief moment of lift followed by frequent crashes or futile and frustrating attempts to get airborne again. Not this time.
As a matter of fact, I have been having quite a few flying dreams recently. But I shouldn’t brag. This last dream went on and on and I just couldn’t come down, nor did I ever want to.
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I lost control a few times and ended up flying feet first and upside down, but I was able to land and take off at will. And I never willed to land. I flew indoors and outdoors, through water and air. I could hover just above the ground and make everybody jealous. I was able to stop in mid air, disappear and reappear in an entirely different location. I flew through an ultra modern and highly imaginative new age city with high rise buildings connected to each other at every level by sweeping terraces of extravagant gardens, outdoor lounge areas and gourmet eating establishments.
Confined to the ground below me were hundreds of people. None of them could fly. Maybe they could and chose not to, because they didn’t seem at all surprised by my miraculous ability. They just looked up and thought, and#8220;Oh, there goes that Bob guy, flying again.and#8221; Practice makes perfect. The more flying dreams you have, the better you get.
It seems to me I have heard of other people having flying dreams, but I am not sure. I hope I am not the only one. I hate to make everybody else jealous. That would be rude. It reminds me of an old friend of mine from the 60s who was so jealous of me because I was hearing voices and he wasn’t.
A lot of people are using the crisis in Haiti to make their voices heard. That Venezuelan guy in the red shirt, Hugo Jawshead, or Chowfuzz, or whatever his name is, accused America of launching a military occupation of Haiti. If he had the will and the resources, he would help Haiti in exactly the same way the U.S. is doing it. Go back to sleep Hugo. Maybe you’ll learn to fly.
Anyway, I flew right by the Hirschdale exit. Just around the bend traffic was stopped. I sat there for an hour like a good boy before cheating to get to the front of the line. The man in charge allowed me to turn around so I could take the short cut through Glenshire.
We are lucky to have short cuts. There are no short cuts for the Haitians. Still, some of them may be better at flying than we will ever be.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.