5:2: “The Transcendental Turnpike”, by Lane Anderson

5:2: “The Transcendental Turnpike”, by Lane Anderson
On the Transcendental Turnpike
In the steamy Texas twilight
In a ’64 VW
With the Burmese cat, Mohandas
Looking for the Dalai Lama 

We had set out on a road trip
Off to sightsee in Atlantis
But the Dalai Lama left us
At a bus stop in the desert
For a merry band of pranksters

He said he would catch us later
On Enlightenment Expressway
After having “found himself” (but
Privately, I blamed the Kool-Aid)
– Still, Mohandas missed the bastard

So, we wandered back-road byways
Checking all the roadside psychics
And the drug-store make-up counters
Looking for signs of his passage
‘Til we found ourselves in Texas

On a lonely stretch of nowhere
Stood a man, with thumb extended
Masked, and wearing twin revolvers
I stopped, on Mohandas’ say-so
(Much against my better judgment)

He got in, and most politely
Introduced himself as Clayton
Now retired from law enforcement
(Out to pasture, as he put it)
Living on a meager pension

He, too, missing a companion
Set out for the reservation
There to find his faithful sidekick
Shake off shackles age had fastened
And ride off into the sunset

I thought this a noble venture
But tonight could drive no further
Up ahead a billboard beckoned:
“Stop and rest, relax your chakras
At the Lobsang Rampa Campgrounds”

We pulled in, and parked the Beetle
As we stretched our legs, we heard the
Sound of mantras being chanted
Clayton went that way; I followed
While Mohandas chased cicadas

In a clearing, levitating
Was a happy little yogi
Wrapped in saffron robes and chanting
While a scruffy blonde was strumming
On a weather-beaten guitar

Then Mohandas came to join us
Jumping to the yogi’s lap and
Making all the introductions
(It was plain they were acquainted–
Yogi, cat, and young musician)

He was Mahesh; she was Janis
He was spreading Vedic science
(Life in harmony with nature)
She was resting for a concert
In her hometown of Port Arthur

Clayton asked if she would favor
Us with just a short performance
She was bashful, little-girlish
‘Til Mohandas rubbed her ankles
Then she smiled in acquiescence

Sang she songs of love and longing
Pain and heartache, tears and trials
Balls and chains and new Mercedes
When she finished, we were quiet
Staggered by her raw emotion

Then Mohandas broke the silence
Yowling–was it in E minor?
Smiling, she picked up his rhythm
Harmonizing with abandon
Joyful, wordless, unknown anthems

Come the morning, we had slept not
Yet, I felt rejuvenated
Healing by association
With these happy, freeform spirits
–I was ready to move forward

Clayton said that he would stay there
‘Til they astrally projected
(I think he was sweet on Janis)
So I got back in the Beetle
Where Mohandas joined me shortly

In the ruby Texas sunrise
In a ’64 VW
With Mohandas riding shotgun
Looking for the Dalai Lama
On the Transcendental Turnpike



Lane Adamson is a life-long Texan who graduated from high school in 1979 (at the age of 16) and decided he’d had enough of academia, much to his parents’ dismay. Other examples of his work are forthcoming in T-Zero: The Writer’s E-zine and in the January 2007 edition of Champagne Shivers.

He lives in the Dallas area with his lovely (and patient) wife, daughter, and assorted pets, guitars, and neuroses.

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