3. Driving down the 1, May 2012.
Are my ‘romantic moments’ the ones that involve me enjoying an easy view from the backseat while somebody else drives? Either way, I’m in the backseat. Driving along Route 1 in California. There are jumpers and pillows in the footwells and a pile of sweating avocados and strawberries and Sierra Nevada and Hoegaarden which we picked up on a bountiful pit-stop. Whilst there we shared a crab sandwich and oysters and tried samples of herb-infused honeys; as ever it all about the food. So it’s me in the back of a teal Toyota named ‘Shandy’, with a hulk of gourmet aphrodisiacs at my side. Jim is driving, Charlie has her feet up on the dashboard. It goes without saying that windows are down, hair is flying, the Pacific is right there, look at it and we’re alternating between Burt Bacharach, The Velvet Underground and Black Moon. I am a smug person personified, in love with my friends and the view, with my cynicism waiting for me back in England. We camp the night in Pfeiffer National Park and the next day we take acid (my first time) and hang out, playing in the meadows and running on the beach (and I shit you not, playing Pink Floyd from a set of speakers attached to a rucksack- who do we think we are?) We wade through shallow streams feeling hazy and Charlie keeps wanting to stop to rub the sand out of her toes. Occasionally we return to reality, bumping into All-American families on the trails and getting the giggles when we meet their silent expressions, knowing what we must look like to them. I’ve fashioned a pair of bunny ears out of a wire headband.

– From Stevie Mackenzie Smith’s wonderfully evocative Valentine’s post from last year on the the variety of loves available to us and of her own personal and unconventional romantic memories.


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