Excerpt: AH HERE WE GO — Tehachapi Loop


Timothy Bowles. Age 47, Tehachapi CA.

When you see the name of an almost lover on the manifest of an airplane crash on CNN.com, you suck in air.

In Joan’s case, it was a hexagon of Krab in a supermarket salad which smacked her epiglottis when she gasped, hard, during a late lunch break. She’d heard about the Snowqualmie Air crash on NPR en route to work. And then, this afternoon, the map of the route ending near Point Mugu, eyewitnesses, passenger list.

Joan always scanned such lists.  She read obits. She read legal notices and the Pennysaver and cereal boxes.  Joan was never not reading. This was her method of anxiety management.

So, Timmy Bowles, there you are.  47, Tehachapi.  Hello. Why were you flying to Portland? And alone. How did you afford a vacation in what, Cabo? I thought that for you it was Paris or nothing.  And look at this.

An ending that is royally not good. That is what happened to you.

Damn.  Tim Freaking Bowles. She tossed the food, sat still, put her head in her hands for a moment because she thought it appropriate, then called her college roommate, to whom she told everything, even though said college roommate was presently drenched day and night with Courvoisier.

Remember that schmuck in Tehachapi? That lying sack of shit with the photographic memory of Pound and Lowell? The guy who reeled off The Waste Land on my voicemail, while no doubt shopping solo for marital groceries, when it was safe to communicate with the women he told he was single?  Oh, let’s not forget the long aerobic walks in the dead of night in the foothills of Tehachapi. That’s when he’d call me. Huffing and panting on his trusty Walmart throw-and-go phone.

Yeah, said her roommate, slurring per usual.  I remember.  Wow.  He is really, like, dead?

© Anne Isaaks, 2012. All rights reserved.

Tehachapi Loop, a railroad marvel, Tehachapi CA

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