Sunday, September 03, 2006


Location:Somewhere between Phoenix and a sunset the sooty orange of cigarette ash in a tin of watercolor.

Brian, Mollie, and I have struggled through a morass of traffic for the past several hours. A few moments ago, on this overworked two-lane stretch of the Interstate 10 (towards the ocean, Mollie chimed), we encountered the cause: a car accident (a phenomenon unique to the world of man in that it is a catalyst for inaction.)

Firetrucks lined the shoulder of the road, crushing the low shrubs and claiming their new territory with a frenzied display of flashing lights. A pair of helicopters spun their blades lazily as paramedics scurried and stabilized the wounded before attempting a sojourn through the dusk to find better odds.

Cars littered the scene. Broken windows, twisted metal, wheels raised to the heavens in prayer to some machine god (a novice god, theologians agree.) Healthy vehicles queued to the horizon. People, shiny with sweat, milled about their cars. We drove on, sympathetic to their plight but thankful it was not us.

I am in Los Angeles, fighting against the forces of evil. The above photo was taken during one of my training sessions with Cadet Flanagan. In order to develop as many random skills as possible, one must be open-minded about occasionally fighting off-planet, even if it's far outside our territory and may cost the lives of many tiny, green, three-eyed men. But I admit I can't feel too bad; they're soulless puppets living their fake plastic lives in hollow hope of becoming one of the billions of images that flicker across a squarish electric box. Truly alien.

I'm having a great time. I hope you are, also.