Steve Iman

en*thu*si*asm \in-'th(y)uze-az-em\ n [Gk enthouslamos, fr enthouslazein to be inspired, fr entheos inspired, fr en- + theos god] a 1 : belief in special revelations b : fanaticism 2 a : strong excitement of feeling : FERVOR b : something inspiring zeal or fervor syn see PASSION


Essays on just about anything


leftback to blather


Nashville is a city full of cloverleaf highways. It's impossible to get around without a gps system since somehow one can never get their bearings enough to figure out which way is North. Not impressed with this city – though one probably can't be too objective when they've been badly ripped off. So what if the downtown looks pretty seedy. There are musicians on the street and honky tonk seems alive. It strikes one as a place for folks with more faith in long shots than education. I'm probably not being fair.

The image to the right shows what we found our first evening walking back to the van from Grand Old Opry Mall. What looks a bit strange is that you don't see the glint of any keyhole – only the darkness of an empty cavern.

Thank heavens that when they took what they want they left the dogs. Probably our kids had retreated toward the back of the van, and we imagine them barking continuously. They didn't seem to defer a heavy inspection of most spots in the front of the van. The bastards even got a small think plastic document holder strapped under the seat. No longer would it be possible to board the dogs for a day anywhere since proof of vaccination is usually required. "Yes, officer, there were two computers here, an Amazon Kindle, a pint of quarters for parking meters and with an eye to Vegas, Steve's little flip video camera, lots of Navajo turquoise, and of course all the addresses and trip plans, along with the gps system. They got all the records with banking and credit card numbers and passwords too. We were had."

The feelings start with a deep wrenching of disbelief. The resentment holds through the days one needs to sit in a trailer park where you can't pay the daily rent while the card companies gear up express you new plastic. There's that sinking feeling as you start spending cash to get on your feet again – a computer that's hard to live or plan without, a gps without which one could never get from A or B, let alone a good barbecue joint in Nashville. Without door locks, you don't want to leave the van – anywhere or any time. Just knowing that Chevrolet produces cars with so little security – all it takes is a screwdriver to pop out the plastic since locks, it turns out, are totally insecure on these cars – feeds the resentment.

You hate to, but you give up some of your dreams. Not only don't you have the addresses and notes, you're not sure you want to fend for yourself in big wooly cities. All of a sudden, those dull and uninspiring places in Kansas seem better. That is, until coming out of an Asian Buffet a couple of weeks later you notice that the last of the doors of the van no longer has it's lock. Probably jimmied in the first incident. But you never know, and the gut tightens. Sometimes you just want to be home.