Kage Baker often seized on Faire weekends as escape hatches – rather like magical portals that appeared in the walls, and let us scarper from distasteful situations. Knowing we were heading North in horrible heat, to Dickens in a depressing moment – or simply to somewhere inaccessible when she didn’t want to talk to an editor – increased her enjoyment of the entire thing. Not just an escape, but a goal!
She’d settle back in the passenger seat of the car, sigh happily, and observe that now no one could find us. Which was true until cell phones … and fairly true even after, since a cell phone can’t actually find you unless you answer it. And while large portions of the human race are now strictly trained to answer their ring tones, Kage never gave in to our robot overlords on that. The phone had a message function – it was meant to be used.
You couldn’t catch Kage once she was on the road.
Sometimes people could catch me, but it didn’t do them much good. I was just another message function if Kage didn’t want to talk. And I never admitted to knowing where she was until I knew what she wanted to do. This must have frustrated lots of our friends and relatives (who assumed we were conjoined twins most of the time) but really – what’s the use in being an organism with two heads if you can’t hide behind one another now and then?
Anyway – the long road out of town was always the ultimate escape. If it coincided with a Faire weekend, so much the better. Moving on the highway or tucked away in another century: Kage could hide out and feel safe. It was her movable fort.
This noon I cravenly fled Los Angeles, which is an epic mess. It is a Dickens Fair weekend and I’m glad to be going to it, but I am also a little relieved to be out of the disaster zone. My family is safe – there are a lot of branches in the yard; but, once fallen, tree branches are not very dangerous. Kimberly is in fact looking forward to introducing them to her chain saw … they will meet a noble end as firewood.
And so I escaped to the relative quiet of I-5. When I-5 is the peaceful option, it means it’s really time to leave the city for awhile … all I had to worry about were loose cattle, car accidents and scary bathrooms. The scenery was quiet and well-behaved this trip; the cattle were not attacking cars – just blocking traffic here and there – and the accidents did not involve me. There were enough of them to delay me on my way North, but I finally made it to the haven of Vallejo and the amazing Rettinhouse House.
There are no natural disasters here for the moment, so I can concentrate on the glories of the road and the Dickens Fair. Another weekend of Extreme Christmas! And if the most exciting thing I encounter is a feral cow or a surfeit of peppermint bark, I shall be very happy indeed. The dry hurricanes of the last two days were all the adrenaline rush I’ll need for quite some time.
More reports tomorrow, Dear Readers.