It’s the Fall of 2013. After three years of planning, wishing, hoping (and mostly just getting rid of stuff!) we are about to hit the road on our grand adventure. Not exactly the life of carefree wandering originally envisioned, we are heading towards a seasonal job in northern Nevada that will provide the funds we need to jumpstart our new life. Hey, life is about compromise. Here’s the set-up and the main protagonists for this movable Theatre of the Absurd:
A not-quite-retirement-age baby boomer gives up her sticks ‘n bricks former miner’s cabin, her three part-time jobs, and her attachment to any illusion of security this tattered remnant of the American Dream might still bring to her tortured soul. The goal: to hit the road for a life of nomadic adventure as the Tarot reader—Shamanic Astrologer—Cosmic Change Agent she was always meant to be.
The Queen Maria Esmarelda – a white 1990 Ford E-350 Econoline, Turtle-Top, Super Club-Wagon. Originally outfitted as a senior citizen transport van for an Arizona desert municipality, she slid inexorably from her bright beginning transporting elders, to using her wheelchair lift to transport a mower and her bus seats to carry the prisoners who would use it to clean up the verges of the highway (with the occasional school field trip thrown in—a rare bright spot). Eventually left to dry out in the cruel southwestern sun, she was rescued by a kindly chiropractor with a penchant for older vehicles, who purchased her sight-unseen on an online auction. He soon listed her on the Taos Craig’s List where she was discovered and brought home to funky Madrid, New Mexico in a white-knuckle drive down the Colorado River canyon from Taos through Santa Fe at rush hour—faulty brakes, shredding tires, wonky steering, cracking power steering fluid hoses, grinding starter, leaking head gaskets, malfunctioning gas tank switch, only-slightly- rusted exterior, and all. Will she find renewal or only further breakdown and decay in her new life?
Layla bint Thuraayaa – The resident Feline Domestic Princess, a silver tabby Maine Coone/Egyptian Mau mix, discovered at the local shelter—a Cinderella waiting to be recognized for the royalty she really was. After two years spent as an indoor-only house cat on the fringes of civilization, her adaptability is about to be severely tested by circumstances beyond her control. Will she escape, will she lose her mind—or will she decide to stay and uncover as yet undreamt of talents as a wild, four-footed Road Warrior?
Silvianne – Meet the fateful agent of change in the lives of the other protagonists, as well as her own. A Spirit in metamorphosis from the old paradigm to the new, she is a willing, although often comically inept, servant to the needs of her two royal traveling companions, facing conflicting feelings of overwhelming gratitude and sheer terror in any given moment. Will she end up limping back defeated to “civilization” (as many of her friends secretly suspect) or find the peace, serenity, and sense of true purpose she has always longed for in a life of simplicity and adventure?