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Saying Goodbye Essay

2290 words - 9 pages

Early Friday morning, Memorial Weekend, 1994, I decide to adventure into the unknown by taking a journey to the Joshua Tree Inn, specifically room number eight, where on September 19th, 1973 Gram Parsons surrendered silently to drugs and alcohol. I have goose bumps. From Silver Lake to Joshua Tree, I travel the 134 to the 210 east, then cross over to route 57, and finally merge to the familiar 10 highway as my hometowns Eagle Rock and Glendora drift by. Not only do road trips bring solitude but also the rhythm of the highway clears my head. My faithful grey Toyota cruises along with her sweet stereo system loudly playing Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and I sing freely with abandonment until another car pulls up next to me. Now I count the endless trees that line the side of the freeway – the same trees that I counted as a childe when my dad would drive us to Edwards Air Force Base. The pavement and I become one and the crowded suburbs fade swiftly into both truck-stops and smaller sparse communities. Memories flood. I was 13 years old and upset with my older sister because she had painted our bedroom lime-green. Our twin beds were separated by a glow in the dark poster of “the keep on truck in'’” icon announcing, “Stop the world I want to get off”. I listened with sadness to The Beatles White album until my loneliness disappeared.
A freeway sign abruptly snaps me back to the not so familiar vast high-desert, therefore signaling my exit. Quickly responding, I turn into the nearest gas station sliding up to an empty gas pump. Although hesitate I enter the Circle K; the sand, desolation, and orange beige clothing troubles me. “What makes me so different? “, I wonder grabbing a bottled water and salted cashews. While leaving I notice my reflection in the window wildly imagining that I look like a starlet, with black cherry curls, vintage sunglasses, pale skin, Cherries in the Snow lips, and a muted blue and pink Mona Li baby doll dressed over faded ripped jeans. Pleased I get back into my car and decidedly enjoy a cozy transcendence.
While driving down 29 Palms Highway I spot a white 1950’s hacienda-style building with turquoise trimming, Spanish tiles, and stark giant Joshua trees. The Joshua Tree Inn looks vacant yet alluring and under the influence of the Inn’s nostalgia I deeply inhale loving the clean air, peace, and tranquility. I stroll into the welcoming Inn with its inviting living room and notice the lofty ceiling’s exposed wooden beams, a stone fireplace, and walls covered in high desert art, slowly submerge myself into the fascinating paintings and native sculptures when a pretty brunette woman, probably in her forties, wearing a cream and orange floral Indian dress catches my eye. She says, “Hi my name is Evelyn. Can I help you?” I say, “I called earlier about room eight.” Although Evelyn’s smiles reassuringly I feel uncomfortable yet happy when she answers, “Yes room eight is ready.” We leisurely walk down a silent open-air hall; the...

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