Travel Day with a Side of Domesticity
In about an hour I should be on that long strip of blacktop that runs like a scar through the western edge of the Central Valley. It is a lonely, almost monastic, trip that will be made more palatable by the metric ton of podcasts pulled into the phone.
Before any of that happens I've got an hour of running errands with mi madre, who doesn't have a car of her own. A trip to the supermarket which doubles as a time machine back a half decade.
What's strangest to me about the errand runs is that San Pablo, my home town, has not changed. The Bay Area has one of the worst housing markets in the nation and yet this town, which is just one town over from two BART stations and bisected by a major freeway, has not been touched by residential development.
Perhaps the sorrow runs too deep here. The taint obvious to all.
The real reason is, almost certainly, that the Bay Area's transportation infrastructure is so fucked that a town one step removed from the BART grid is useless and the freeway makes little impact.
So San Pablo remains stuck in a stupid past, a mosaic of bad planning decisions made in the 70a (strip malls) and 90s (card room turned Indian Casino) that no one can love.