River of Rubies

The ruby-glittered river I wend along churns and twists, slows and eddies. It carries me North, along the sea…but never to it. I am on the 405, headed to Los Angeles, and my heart pulls me through this slow current. Brake lights become scarlet jewels in this tributary of wishes. I look up and a bit East, and I see the pastel little smear that will resolve into white letters that say “HOLLYWOOD”. And although my dreams would take me there, reality does not. I am lulled along by the promise of something, of someone, whose mark upon the gilded streets was made by words. So we danced by the tapping of keys, over many months, and today is the day I drive to him for the first time. It takes three and a half hours from San Diego, and the irony is that I left behind a more chaotic traffic scene there. In LA, the driving skill is comparatively high, because the use is constant. And so there is a predictable undulation. I hear it is much maligned, but perhaps because I have driven in ice and sleet and snow and tornadoes and dust storms, on my many road journeys in this country, I find the pace of the City of Angels appealing. I look to the North again. I climb the hills to reach the 101, and then I head West, heart in my mouth. While I would take this journey again, this is the first time I took it for love. And every time after, I would look to the hills, from my slow coursing, surrounded by so many people…and I would wonder, are you here for dreams? Or necessity? Or heartbreak? Or love? And I keep driving.

For Joe S.

J. Dianne Dotson is a science fiction and fantasy author, science and content writer, and watercolorist. Learn more at jdiannedotson.com. @jdiannedotson

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