The three girls were still chattering in the back seat when Dad called. On the beltway, traffic slowed, stopped, and surrendered to inertia. Dudes volleyed footballs between station wagons. A band of wandering gypsies built makeshift hovels from the roof of an abandoned Prius; tires were piled and set alight for warmth. Slipping Mom’s Expedition behind a ransacked Hostess truck, I nearly missed the phone call: my ring tone the ultimate loser in a three-way battle between the radio and the three preteens in the backseat.
“Hey bud,” Dad chimed over the speaker. “How ya doing?”
“We just finished discussing the niceties of shaving our legs.” Continue reading
The travel-bug has infected me as the snow-drifts melt around the house. Ryan calls it Spring-fever; I call it unemployment, but it amounts to same thing. Technically, the disease is a perennial one — for me at least — like hemophilia or guys born with three nipples; my whole lifestyle, a pastiche of half-finished novels, video games, comics, manga, and Lego castles, stems from this unquenchable need to explore, to vacate, to drive child-stuffed vans across state borders.
Yet this whole . . . condition does seem to strike more violently in March. Mostly it’s the anticipation of travel, the need to get away from these four walls for a while. Spring for all its pleasantness offers little in the way of excitement in Baltimore. I mean, the leaves return if you’re into that. Birds chirp; flowers bloom; bees freak me out by dive-bombing my ears. And the weather . . . of course, the weather’s nice, providing a time and place to which to travel. School, college and homework crucify any and all travel plans. Continue reading