Lonely Highway

olds in desert

The heat waves rising off the Venezuelan desert distort everything in the distance. If I can only keep this 1967 Chevy Impala on the “highway” and cool I might get back to the hotel an hour away. Places are so far away here. No traffic in the desert.

Impossibly, a relic by even my own ancient wheels, a 1940’s era black rollback Olds is creeping along in front at a breakneck 20 mph. I slow down. I wait. They drive in the middle of the road. Can’t see inside. Just a little oval rear window.


After 10 long minutes of twisty gravel and wheezing AC they kind of move to the right side and I spot a stretch of straightaway. Pedal to the metal I go and swerve left and downshift to passing gear.

I get up even and still can’t see inside. It’s like smoke has mirrored the inside of the glass windows. Just a shadow of a big mustache. They speed up to 80 like me. Oh no, now they’reĀ  coming back my way! Our doors bang together. The car swerves in the gravel. They are trying to kill me.

desert road fork

An angel blesses me as a fork in the road ahead appears and I dart to the left. The car slides sideways through the dirt, I slam on the brakes and around it goes in a one-eighty.

What the hell?! It takes 2 minutes to quiet down then my knees start shaking. I go back to the bar, wait an hour, then start the long drive back through the desert to the hotel. The fork isn’t there anymore. I pray I don’t meet that Olds again. Don’t mess with foreign drivers. They just might be terrorists. Or worse.

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