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Awakenings Chapter 3: Explorations

Ed decided to head for Big Sandy in the afternoon after spending the morning working at Etoile Rouge.  His Citroen Ami 6 hummed pleasantly as he maintained a steady pace in the slow lane of Highway 99.  He could see where guardrails had been added to the center median strip of oleander bushes to stop head-on collisions by vehicles drifting across the median.  His little French car felt dwarfed next to the ubiquitous trucks with their massive tires.  Ed liked to stay in the slow lane as much as he could in that the shoulder lane provided him an escape route from trucks that might swerve as they passed him. 

This late summer evening was also marked by the damp smell of sloughs and irrigation canals crossed by the highway, followed by the splats of insects on his windshield.

Zin Avenger in DoorwayEd thought about just exactly what he was trying to prove by this trip.  If he was right, he would lose one of the best paying jobs he had in a long while.  Were the best paying jobs always the best jobs?  Not if the jobs were wrong.  A large semi went whooshing past, drawing the lightweight Citroen into the draft behind the trailer, countered only be his slight adjustment of the steering wheel.  He realized that this was also some kind of quest.  He was testing the strength of his morals.  If the Fairchild Group was cheating about where the juice for the wine was coming from, they were wrong, and he felt like he needed to stop them.  What about Pauline?  Where did she fit into all of this?  She was certainly a close friend, but could she ever be anything more?  Ed continued his self-reflection and deep soul searching all the way to Madera, his thoughts punctuated only by the splat of insects on the windshield, and underlined by the whoosh of the passing trucks. 

Continued ...

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