THE PHONE BOOTH, TAKE TWO

by

The next morning the winds blew in at full song, creating a white out condition and canceling any attempts at record runs from either Breedlove or Andy Green.

We head home. While BZ is scoring some liquids, fruit and junk food outside the general store in Empire, (five miles from Gerlach, and it’s only source of food that isn’t from a coffee shop), a free lance photographer with pinwheel eyes hits me up for a quarter for the phone booth. I’m having a variation on deja vu, what is it about this place that everybody from the fastest man on Earth to Dennis Hopper’s doppelganger doesn’t have the proper coin for a pay phone?

I give him some change. “Thanks,” he says. “I got to call my bureau.”

So that’s what they are calling it these days, I think to myself.

He’s got a frayed and frizzled coiffure, a two and a half day beard and an ack-ack-ack cadence as a co-efficient to his New Yawk accent. He asks if I am out here for the record runs and I say yeah. BZ is still in the store, so I make the mistake of mentioning Breedlove’s shut off run, thus sustaining what I have mistaken to be small talk and what is really a run-on screed about the desert and those that it attracts.

“‘The Spirit of America.’ Is that what this is about? ‘Don’t tread on me because I want to shoot guns in the desert.’ This as a gesture?”

I tell him we got to make time back to LA.

“‘Make Time.’ You can’t ‘make time.’ Time makes you. What is this preoccupation with time anyway? With Speed? Mach 1? What is it with you people? Do you think that by sticking your head through the placenta of the spacetime continuum you are going to cheat mortality? Don’t you know you are hastening it? Do you know it wasn’t until caffeine and the clock were invented that the Western World woke up from its hangover and built what we now know as Civilization? Speed? Do you really think that is the way the winds are blowing? Do you realize you are upwind of Ground Zero?”

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