Fifteen miles of washboard road stood between The Booth and us. We covered it quickly, averaging about 40 mph, and only bounced off the ceiling a couple of times as we slammed through big rain cuts in the road.

We could feel we were getting closer, but we got a little bit disoriented about halfway in. We came to a fork in the road, took it, and then realized we’d taken the wrong tine. We realized our mistake not because of the map, but a landmark of far greater authority: telephone wires. There they were, marching into the distance, marching to The Booth, leading us on as surely as the Sirens led the sailors.

We followed the road following the telephone wires, faster, ever faster. We approached each rise in the road, certain we were about to see The Booth, then crested the rise to see yet another rise ahead of us. The tension mounted. Finally, we crested the final rise. There it was in the distance, gleaming in the sunlight, beckoning us on.

The Booth.

We spied it just as we came upon a turn in the road, a turn drifted deep with sand. I was so excited I involuntarily jerked the wheel into the turn and the Cruiser broke traction and started to drift. I corrected, but couldn’t take my eyes off The Booth. The drift turned into a full-fledged power slide, but still I couldn’t take my eyes off The Booth.

Hammer down, eyes locked, sliding sideways at speed toward the edge of the road, visions of a deadly desert cartwheel dancing in the back of my mind, I steered into the slide and tried not to kill us. Steve never made a peep, never made a move to brace himself, never did anything but gape at The Booth. We weren’t afraid. Somehow we knew The Booth would protect us. It hadn’t called us all this way to have us die at its doorstep.

Sure enough, the wheels slammed back into traction, the slide stopped, and we powered on through the final quarter mile to The Booth. Our exhilaration grew, but then was dashed as we got closer and closer, close enough to see that the phone was NOT off the hook.

Had we driven all this way for nothing?

No. And yes…


At The Booth



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