Saturday, September 02, 2006

Round Midnight

There's nothing like driving slow down Washington St., down the hill toward home, around midnight with the windows all down and the warm summer night blowing all through the truck. I turn on the radio. They play these old lonesome country songs, many sung by folks long dead and long forgotten. Sad, sad songs of heartbreak and loss, of drunkeness and betrayal, of things gone just plain bad. I sing along, out loud. Sometimes melody, sometimes the tenor, many times bass. Mostly good and sometimes bad.

Straight, due north are the lights of three different counties twinkling all the way to the foot of old Baldy. To the northeast, the lights of San Bernardino and the mountain homes of Rim of the World and Big Bear. And eastward, out through the Badlands between Mt. San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, the desert lights sparkle like the promise of redemption.

Millions of lights, millions of people living out their lives on these valley floors. And the sweet, mournful tune of one hard luck song hanging in the warm night air like a lucky prayer.


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