On The Road: Barstow, 9-11-09

Open the truck door and it’s like being paddled into a pizza oven – with outlet stores. Why would anyone stop in Barstow?  Vegas crossroads – a maze of eighteen wheelers refueling – cell phone talking/texting Starbucks clutching LA exiters – God, it’s 11pm and everyone’s wired – I’ve dropped into an over-heated circuit board – one night – just one night.

Sunrise – bring my duffel to the truck and bam! it’s twenty degrees cooler just high 80’s – gotta leave – Kingman never looked so good – Yes! I see clouds, monsoon miracle up ahead! – the road bends, the clouds go off to the right – please, please let me drive into the heart of that storm – any storm – I can hear the truck sigh, cool down – turn right – there they are – the arrow of my truck strikes – No! – the storm strikes – Flash! – torrential white knuckle windshield hyper wiper – can’t see for shit –  slow it down –  doesn’t help but I asked for it yes I did – where’s the camera? – this is good – there’s lightning – how far apart? – crank down the aperture and pray – not that way, but it’s still praying – Now! – damn, it’s processing the file and flash! – missed it – try again – and again – for miles – a semi plows past sending an ocean splash all over the windshield – where’s the road? – I’m feeling it like you feel a forest path with your feet in the dark – feeling it and doing the real praying – stay alive – think that way – but it’s time for a strike of lightning – press the shutter – hold the ship on course with my left hand – lightning Yes! hits and the semi plows through the exposure – how wild! – it’s there – I know it is – somewhere.

It’s alive time – I’m fearless – knowing about instant death out here – so strange how it relates and completely doesn’t to scrambling over, leaping over, balancing on rocks in the wilds of Maine, Iceland, anywhere – it’s the same right now – totally alert and alive and thinking about staying in my lane – shit – on the road – and getting ready for the next semi to shake my Etcha-Sketch reality away – yet! – thinking about the image – always – and the timing of the lightning – and damn that truck was a bit too close.


~ by eddiesoloway on November 18, 2009.

3 Responses to “On The Road: Barstow, 9-11-09”

  1. My heart races just reading this. I want to share this with my high school students, but I think I’d have to say, “Do not try this at home.” Your love for shooting continues to inspire.

  2. Wow, Eddie. Fantastic photo and amazingly evocative prose. You’ve really captured the spine-shaking excitement of being in the mnidst of an amazing moment and trying, hoping, praying, working to catch it. Thanks!

  3. What an amazing capture of lights, human made and nature made. The text just makes it all come together… Nicely. I love that alert feeling – you can feel the tension in the words….

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