Four Italians and an Israeli sitting in a blue Chevrolet. It could be the start of a joke. It sure feels like one. Claudio is singing as he drives. Like he often does. His belly stretching against the seat belt. A Diet Coke propped between his legs. Sometimes he and Ben talk politics. They like each other. Two men discussing borders.
I watch the Jordan Valley slip by. A tiny yellow car has been driving in front of us the entire time. It is the only thing moving. I like the barrenness. The undulating rocks, with the occasional oasis smashed in between.
I roll the window down and let the wind drown out the sounds from inside. My face slams into a barrier of heat. I raise my face skyward, pressing my lips against the vast blue and licking the sand filled air. After all, I am in the land of milk and honey.
I have been trying to read the Bible. Things are slow. For this trip, I decided to swap the Lonely Planet guide for this creative historical nonfiction of sorts. Or whatever you want to call it. We are headed toward Jericho. Jesus did something there. I don’t know what. I am still struggling through Genesis.
Light is nibbling the tops of the hills. The shadow of our car bounces alongside us. And I think of you. The sun must still be pouring down back home. Maybe you are sweating. Probably. It was hot when I left. Heard things just got hotter. Today my curiosity is biting. It’s the idleness of sitting in a car for eight hours. My mind is drifting to places it doesn’t go anymore. Hypnotized by the horizon.
So I thought I’d say hello. How are you?
Although I don’t really want to know.
This is not to start a conversation. Some utterings made while driving through the desert. Thought I’d share because I said I never wanted to speak to you again. Perhaps that was bit much. I tend to speak a lot of contradictions. Making this into one too. We can blame it on dehydration.
Don’t answer. Do answer. Tomorrow, in a month—or call me in twenty years, like that song you used to play. I was reading Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli earlier this summer; I learned that time is apparently another social construct. I am testing that theory out. Can’t say it’s working. But I’ll keep trying.
I guess this is what we do, pause to blink open our sunken eyes and then take a step onward. Throwing grains of sand into the ebb and flow of these waves. Today I was so happy, like I was yesterday, last week, last month. Things taste now a little like dates. So much sweeter. I suppose this all comes down to say I hope today was a happy one for you too.