Picture a man stepping out of everything he thought he knew.
Stepping into a place where the world is different and operates on different rules than the ones that he sarcastically
belittles when scribbling in his little blog.
He has left the mundane world, and as it says on the sign post ahead.
He has entered the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling was the shit.
That man made some of the worst Thanksgivings in my life growing up bearable.
The Twilight Zone marathon was the Thanksgiving staple for years.
Or Football, depending on what the ranking adult in the room who possessed the remote wanted to watch.
So why am I taking us down memory lane with Rod and the Zone?
Because I am in it.
The Twilight Zone evidently exists in Joshua Tree, California.
I was travelling thru on my way to a hippy camping weekend.
As I stopped at a stoplight, a cop car pulled up next to me.
I never get in trouble with the law, being the solid citizen that I am, so I don’t sweat it when I see them.
But, much like coming across a big dog you don’t know, keep your distance.
Just because he seems friendly, doesn’t mean he won’t turn on you without warning.
So, when he smiled and waved, it caught me a little off guard.
I decided to get some gas and perhaps a bite to eat.
As I pulled up to the gas pump, a kid in a white shirt came running out.
“Pump your gas for you, sir?”
Are you shitting me?
I stared at this kid for a long moment.
I heard myself answer out of shocked reflex.
“I got it, thanks.”
Where the hell was I?
I am not sure I remembered putting gas in the car.
Food, food would help at this point.
I don’t handle confusion well and tend to treat it like a plot by an evil cabal thats out to get me.
There is a pizza place next to the gas station called Mo’s Pizza.
The building is fairly rundown and there is a homeless guy patrolling the front.
Dubious food to be sure, but I am hungry.
As I park, I notice the homeless guy eyeballing me hungrily.
I walk towards the front door, bracing myself for the pitch for cash.
He says nothing, just opens the door and smiles.
I am not even asking questions at this point, I am just hanging on to the roller coaster and hoping the ride is over soon.
The inside of Mo’s Pizza is worlds different from the outside.
And then there’s the food.
The pizza appears to be pretty high end stuff.
Several have Feta and Goat cheese.
I recognize several combinations of cheeses and meats that you will rarely find in any but the most pretentious
gourmet pizza shops.
I order a slice of Alfredo/ricotta with carmalized onions, cajun andouille and chunks of garlic.
I eat my slice like a man on death row, sure that the hammer is about to drop on me at any moment.
However, nothing happens.
I hightail it out of Joshua Tree and try to put the events of the evening out of my head.
I am still not sure what happened, but it sure felt like a Twilight Zone Episode.
Maybe the homeless guy was Jack Klugman.