"What was the Vietnam War about?" Daney, 11, asked as we hit the California border, fourteen miles from home.
Already, I was thinking about my Work-In-Progress, Drain.
"Did we win that war?" Rees, 8, asked.
"Most people would probably say we didn't," I told them. "I'm thinking about my book, though."
"Why didn't we win it?" Dominic, 12, pressed. "Didn't we have better weapons?"
And so my W-I-P was shoved aside so I could talk to the kids about the war, which then turned into a discussion about the Peace Movement, which somehow turned to Watergate.
"So Nixon got in trouble because he lied?" Daney said. "But all the presidents lie now. So he wouldn't get in trouble now, right?"
After 20 miles, I told the kids that if they wanted to know any more about Nixon, they could ask their Poppa when we got to his house.
There were a few quiet miles, two and a half maybe. I was just starting to get back into thinking about Drain. Until Daney asked why the achilles tendon is such a tender part of the human body.
"Achilles. The god," I answered.
Of course that wasn't enough. It just opened this huge discussion on Greek folklore and whether one of the gods was responsible for the plantar fasciitis I had suffered from three years ago, and what is plantar fasciitis, anyway, and why exactly did it hurt.
We were in Redding by then.
The kids wanted In & Out. So until Anderson, they were busy chewing their double-doubles-plus-pickles-minus-onion. Which bought me some thinking time.
"So can I tell you guys this new ending I might try in Drain?" I asked them.
"We're tired of talking," they all said, turning on their iPods and Game Boys.
FALL 2015 TOUR
1 year ago