Crossing the Mojave
In 2004, my husband and I moved from California to Texas.
In 2005, I turned the story of our trip into a creative writing piece called “Crossing the Mojave” and won a contest with it.
Fuzzy has gone the entire trip guzzling root beer and orange soda, but I am being good and sticking to water as much as possible, partly because it’s cheaper but mostly because it isn’t quite so vile when it is no longer throat-numbingly cold. I open my mouth to urge him to drink water, but he has a closed expression, so instead I mutter something about how the word “Mojave” changed to “Mohave” when we crossed the state line. He has no response.
I keep seeing signs for the Grand Canyon, which I have not seen since a school field trip when I was a child living in Colorado, but my husband reminds me that the dogs cannot eat until we stop for the night, and that as much as I seem to want to pretend this is just a road trip, it is not a true vacation. Instead, it’s a one-way trek halfway across the United States, to an apartment we have never seen that will be filled with furniture we do not own. I don’t tell him that I have to keep pretending we’re just exploring so I don’t get overwhelmed at the journey we’re making—not the physical trip, though that is grueling enough—but the uprooting of our lives.
Intellectually we both understand that this decision is the right one, that we were caught in a never-ending loop of bills and emergencies, that my company was failing, and that the cost of living in the Bay Area was increasing. Our ultimate destination, Dallas, Texas, isn’t the first choice for either of us, but it is the best we could agree on, and sometimes that has to be enough. Nevertheless, the knowledge that there is nothing familiar waiting for us at the end of the road is more than a little daunting.
Music for this episode was provided by Mevio’s Music Alley, a great resource for podsafe music. Visit them at music.mevio.com.
Opening: “Soap in a Bathtub” by Stoney
Closing Music: “You Can Use My Bathtub” by Little Thom