Three face masks hanging near the wheel.
New cut-out tree car deodorant. ‘Royal Pine’ scent.
Plenty of snacks for the road. Two salads. Three Lara bars. Three left over Taiwanese dishes from take out from the other night. They get eaten up by the minute.
Lover at the passenger seat, with his headphones on.
I am singing out loud some rock & roll tunes. Drumming on the wheel, speeding on the highway. I’m practicing my drum beat until I feel a sweat dripping from my arm pit. That’s how focused I am. I make myself sweat and then gush about it with pride.
It’s Day 1 and already an adventure. The road is trafficked. And then it isn’t. Once again it’s trafficked. Until it’s clear again. I drive us all the way to Vegas. Vegas is a complete zombie town. We make a quick stop in awe of how empty it is. Sad, but also wonderful. Seeing Vegas full of people is actually quite sadder than this, I think to myself.
We scroll through the Venetian. The gondolas are parked. The stores are closed. The staff is bored. But the skies are still blue, and the casinos have some people in them. The REAL gamblers. The ones that won’t let a pandemic stop them from playing their money away. There are better ways to spend money, I think to myself.
We head out amazed and ‘over it’, walking back to the car and listening to crickets on the way. When Vegas is empty of people- the crickets come out to play.
The few people we pass by are a combination of homeless zombie types sinning in sin city, random hikers on their way somewhere else, families with small children, groups of young people that are clearly anti-maskers, and occasional adorable couples.
‘Take pictures’ we may never see Vegas like that again.’ I say. And then I wonder to myself if that’s true. Maybe Vegas will file for bankruptcy like so many other businesses. Maybe it will die like the American dream. Maybe I want it to disappear for good with all it’s consumerism and gaudiness.
It’s Day 1 and I already see the value in coming out of my shell. Seeing the Effects of the pandemic up closer. The good, the better, the ugly, and the uglier.
Traveling during this time is something for the books. Something for the soul. Something for the blog. A way to connect, and feel, and conquer the fear. If this is an apocalypse, I might as well explore it on the road...
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman