We were driving at night through the sweltering central valley of California.
It was like that old Neil Diamond song about Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show. You know the one, about hot August nights and you can hear yourself sweat.
Somewhere outside of Buttonwillow I glanced over at the Malt and asked, “Max, do dogs have an immortal soul?”
“How would I know?”
“Well, you have fur, four legs, bark, poop on the lawn and constantly beg for food so it seems likely you’re a dog.”
“Did you just assume my species, amigo?” “And while we’re at it, exactly why are you asking me dumb questions?”
I explained that for the last 100 miles the choices on the car radio were limited to mariachi music or hyped-up, thick-drawled evangelical preachers determined to save immortal souls.
My favorite was the guy who called out his followers by name, extolling their many virtues, not the least of which were the “frequent and generous cash contributions sent to the radio station in care of Brother ________.”
Max had grown bored with the conversation and asked me to put a CD in the dash player. I fumbled with one hand to grab a disc at random while the car generated machine gun sounds as the tires ran over those little reflector bumps that line the side of the road.
We both figured anything would be better than soul saving.
The CD was a Linda Ronstadt album. “Canciones de mi Padre.”
Ai yai yai.
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha