What keeps pulling us out of our Stuck House to wander through this part of the country is that it's easier to appreciate what we have when Mom doesn't have to worry about all the responsibilities of having stuff. Things like hot poop juice in Mom's dented cup or turning the heater to sauna mode after a cold hike make us feel more wealthy than all the fancy City espressos in the world.
After driving only a few squiggles, the white dirt stopped acting like it had been dropped there by accident and started to lie on the ground possessively like real winter.
Most of the dragon was underground with only his flanks and stegosaurus crest sticking out of the ground and curling big-spoon-ways around a canyon. The land the dragon slept in was the color of the 1970’s ––all rusty, creamy and drab greys with the rough textures of courderoy and polyester–– but the dragon’s back itself was covered in white chalky scales that flaked off and turned to dust under my paws.
His words were long in strange places, like he was trying to sing but his tongue kept tripping over the words. It was the kind of accent that sounded like he would use the word ‘dad-gum’ a lot.
The distances got shorter and everything got smaller the longer I walked. It was like I was on a movie set that only looks real if you stand in the right spot, and when you walk around you discover that everything is a size that doesn't match.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
We turned around, and suddenly I realized that we had been wandering aimlessly for miles through a maze of rocks that had blindfolded Mom's sense of direction and spun her around like it was her turn at the piñata.
The sun burned like a grapefruit over the mountain, and as it rose higher it lit the trees and rocks in the same color as the Wagon's tail lights had lit the trees and rocks the night before when Mom had almost backed into them.
Normally Mom makes me step off the trail and up-up onto a rock when we see someone coming, and then she turns her back to the trail and stuffs me full of kibbles until the people pass. But now, Mom pulled on the mask and the other people did the up-uping, as if by magic.