On the Run – With My Boy

by Mark Hahn

It was time to get out of town. My boy had worked hard in school and I wanted to reward him. I was done with work. We needed time together. I asked him where he wanted to go and all he said was, “Somewhere we haven’t been.”

I said, “Ok, let’s go someplace in New Mexico. We’ll bring a map.”

That’s all we knew.

Sometimes the best places are the places that are nowhere.

This abandoned gas station was near the Arizona / New Mexico border. It was trashed worse than most places we go. Bullet holes and empty booze bottles were the lasting scares of its hard life — now over.

I joked, “I have some sleeping bags in the trunk, maybe we should just stay here tonight.”

I like the idea of just heading off on the road and disappearing. Of course, the filth and the feces puts a damper on my romantic visions of riding the rails and cooking can goods over an open fire. I sometimes think of doing this at the side of a dirt road somewhere in between the interstate and the rail lines.

My son just looked at me thinking, “Right dad, like we’re actually going to stay here.”

He likes the adventure. The danger. Seeing new things. Finding things that most people pass by. It was a really great trip.