The Long Drive Back from My Mom’s House


Driving back from Santa Barbara to Silicon Valley I mostly notice the music. In the vast middle area of California there aren’t a lot of radio stations. Those stations you can find seem to be either Christian or Spanish. Of course, some may be both, but since Jesus is a fairly common Hispanic name and I don’t speak Spanish I can’t tell.

I can however tell when one of the Spanish stations advertises a restaurant. Being from California I know the Spanish names of common Mexican/Salvadoran/Guatemalan/CalMex food items. So when the DJ started saying Carne Asada, Ensalata, Chile Rellenos, along with words that even I recognized as numbers, at first for a brief moment I guessed it was a station for Spanish-illiterate people so they could hear some words they knew.

Then I realized I was being ridiculous and he was just reading the menu. But it’s not always easy to be rational in the third hour of a five hour drive by yourself along largely flat roads, accompanied only by passing oil rigs and cattle.

I should point out, I am an atheist.

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