Sunday, June 6, 2010
‘The Isolated Desert Cult’
Some of the Great American Archetypes I have experienced have been missed out, they will be included at a later date, ignoring chronology. Some highlights have included ‘The Waffle Machine’, ‘Californian Oranges on Californian Grass’ and ‘The Diner’. For now, please enjoy the latest instalment
‘The Isolated Desert Cult’
We are driving through Colorado, the Canyon Lands, in the midst of about the sixth hour of our fourteen hour second day of a three day drive from Salt Lake City to Austin, Texas.
Last night’s journey commenced as soon as we finished the Sat Lake show and took six hours. We arrived in Cortez at 4.30 am.
All that driving, nightime, sleeping sure made for a wild surprise this morning, when I opened the motel door onto the beige dusty flatness of the desert. Funny little sandstone houses and sleepy Mexicans and brain twisting gonzo isolation.
Each time we pass a quaint outcrop of caravan(s), flung into the desert like a handful of peanut shells, Sav exclaims, “cult”. Just as he says “train” when one of those great mechanised serpents wind along in the distance. The emptiness makes it impossible not to notice these otherwise insignificant blemishes.
I can imagine those who live out here, in those little caravans, must be truly insane. If not they will be soon. Looking out into vast beige nothingness all day would clear the mind completely. Way beyond serenity into vacuity. Any stimulus, visual, sonic, even imaginary – especially imaginary – would take on huge cosmic significance.
Go crazy, see cloud, think alien – cult. That’s all it takes in this blank canvas for the tortured mind, imagination. And maybe a dumber, more subservient neighbour. If you have enough dumb neighbours then you have a religion. Hell, we just came from Salt Lake City, which would still be a shack in the desert with Joseph Smith worshipping his thoughts and waging spiritual war on whatever shadow he sees the Devil in that day.
You know what, that sounds so damn easy, maybe I will start a cult! This van, after all, is a microcosm of the world, and the back seat is sort of a microcosm of the U.S. It’s bigger and more populated with dumb crazy outcasts than the rest of the van. We have been sent to the extremities, have we no, because of our differences?
Look at Dom up there, king of the castle in his own seat. Do you think Kevin has to deal with another man’s ass in his face when he tries to sleep?
The back indeed! You, know, I’m starting to wonder if this really is the back of the van. I mean, sure it looks like we’re moving forward, but has anyone actually SEEN it moving? The windows are tinted, after all, you cant see inside… maybe…
I found it! Proof, once and for all!
When I was digging around under the chair I found a manual for the van, all bound in gold. When I read from he manual it expounded all the inner working of the van. From the plasma screens creating the false sense of forward momentum to the REAL drivers behind us in the ‘boot’. Well, I tell you brothers, the time for this wrongful discrimination of back seaters is over! Soon will come a time when the seats will be reversed, the windows cleared, and us – Me, Sav and Jay – will drive this Holiest of Vans and look out upon the glorious road of truth and clarity, and together we will steer the van back onto the chosen path, the righteous path of which the Holy Manual spake!
“Wow! Well, where do we go? What does the Holy Manual say? Let us read it!”
“Oh, no, sorry Brothers, only I may read the Holy Manual, as it was I who was chosen to convey its sacred gospel unto you…
(Looks into notebook)
“Aha! Here it is! The place to which we will drive is…Portland, Oregon! Here we will eat from Czech takeaway carts and buy unreleased Nazz b-sides and green corduroy trousers and have joints brought to us by one of our many elegant bohemian concubines!”
“Oh, no, wives, it actually says wives”
“Well that’s okay then!”
“Yes! Huzzah! Huzzah for the promised land!”
“So brothers, will you join me?”
“We will! We will!” They cried. But then Jay leant forward with a most severe expression, and said under his breath, “but what of the others? Those of the noise cancelling headphones and soft cheese up front?”
“Ah yes…there is only one thing for them...”
Nb. The rest of the touring company were not killed by Nick, Jay and Sav, who are actually fine with sitting in the back. This is a story blown far out of proportion by boredom…and Sav also has noise cancelling headphones.
- Paisley Adams