In December 1995 I went camping in Baja, California with two guys. Well, really, it was with Steve, and we corralled another guy into going with us to be an official chaperone.* Anyway, one thing we had to do before embarking was procure a means of transport to get us from San Francisco allllll the way down to the tip: Cabo San Lucas.
Steve – who grew up on a farm fixing cars – settled on a 1975 Chevy Blazer, with great joy because he got to work on it a lot before we left. And a lot during our trip. This labor – and these images – will all help you grasp why it soon became lovingly known to us as The Beast: it was The Beast’s very ugliness and unwieldiness that made her so attractive and beloved to us.
Lest you think I exaggerate, you should know that we nearly died in The Beast on one climactic night when Steve and our chaperone got into an altercation. When the argument subsided, we continued down the dicey Mexican “highway” in quiet tension, leading us to nearly snap when an unruly truck careened at us in the opposite direction, leaving us no recourse but to veer off the road. The drama made us appreciate our hobbling, graceless Beast (which somehow kept us whole) on an entirely new level. When I was charged with driving Her home after Steve had to fly back for a business meeting, my love grew all the more as she yawed the entire way back up the 101 (I say this now, of course…15 years later and indelibly marked by Her image every time I in fact hear or use the word “yaw”).
To this day, the ugly, unwieldy and beastly still hold a crazy kind of pull for me. Is it because I so want to redeem the beauty that I insist simply *must* lie within…some sort of savior complex?
I dunno. But I still love beasts. Lord help me!