Land of Dreams


The sun was barely peeking over our rugged eastern foothills when I left
this fair state, bound for a land where the lush green countryside collides
with the glimmering ocean and the bourbon flows like wine. That land is Virginia.


Day 1:

My arrival in Norfolk was smooth as can be. Only one person from my plane
was arrested upon arrival and my aunt and cousins were right there at the
baggage claim to pick me up. Since I didn't have any baggage checked,
however, I was waiting outside by the curb. We eventually found each other
and I tossed my meager possessions into our country's finest automobile:
a 1994 Chevy Blazer with 200,000 miles on it. While being driven from the
bustling port city of Norfolk to the cotton-farms of Suffolk, I passed a
factory who's name will be forever etched on my psyche: FAG Precision
Bearings. I moved to comment, but thought better of it. Instead, I wondered
why all my Jewish relatives lived in Virginia, a state perhaps known best
for its ham.


Day 2:

Eastern Daylight Time gently nuzzled me awake at 11:30AM. It was time for
a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, to see what our fair republic was like in
its nascent stages. My aunt, two cousins, and I piled into the Blazer and
screeched out of town like so many screech owls screeching loudly into the
screeching night. While in Williamsburg, I saw some people dressed in tri-corner
hats lynch a straw effigy of an Englishman while denouncing the tax on tea.
And I laughed.


Day 3:

I was up at dawn to visit Busch Gardens, the only chain of amusement parks
where they sell beer from carts and smoking is permitted anywhere. Virginia
law prohibits carrying alcoholic beverages into the lines for rides, even
though this would be the best place to enjoy them. I passed on the Anheuser-Busch
Brewer's Training seminar to go on a 3-D adventure ride in which I was
turned into a leprechaun via faerie magick. It made me seasick. Cotton candy
is not pink when it comes back up.


Day 4:

In Virginia, the women are beautiful and the men are goofy-looking. Sometimes,
I would see these beautiful women accompanied by goofy-looking men, and I
would weep. After that, I test-drove Jeeps at my uncle's used car lot.
And then I wept. Then more test-driving, followed by additional weeping.
Later that day I hopped on the interstate to drive to Virginia Beach, setting
the cruise control to 62 MPH in this land where they all drive 55. While
in Virginia Beach I took solace in the company of a fellow Berkeleyan trapped
in this strange but wonderful land. Of course, she had a 3000 square foot
house whereas I had nothing but a borrowed Toyota Avalon and a wallet full
of dreams. We visited bars and tried to avoid the Navy men on shore leave.
One bar served Natural Light on draft for $1.25. I had Wild Turkey on the


Day 5:

It is strange the paths on which we travel. When I drove out to the beach,
I entered no tunnels, but on my return trip I drove through two. This portented
sex in the near future, but instead I just got lost and ended up in Yorktown,
just like General Cornwallis so many years before. That night I had a grilled
seafood platter of two fish fillets, oysters, scallops, shrimp, and a crabcake.
I could've gotten all of that fried.


Day 6:

With a heavy heart and lungs full of tar I waved goodbye to fair Virginia
and I asked myself how many months would pass before I would see that land
again. Five, I answered back. On the plane ride the movie Spider-man
was screened. The scene with Kirsten Dunst soaking wet in her sheer blouse
was edited out. And I wept.



Back in Oakland the sun was shining though it was 9:00PM by my clock. I had
traveled back in time and back to the chilly upwellings of the Pacific Ocean
just in time for a heat-wave. Perhaps it was Virginia, punishing me for leaving
her behind and turning my back on that lush and sensuous land of dreams.