On a side street off the main drag where chain restaurants, big box stores, insurance companies and car sales giants were sucking the life out of America stood the only business for kilometers owned by a real person as opposed to a corporate behemoth.
The owner was Miss Auralette. She stood about six feet tall, dressed in impossibly dramatic style, with luscious brown skin.
I learned it was first name: Miss; last name: Auralette when she handed me her card. I studied the card, not exactly sure what I was doing in this shop other than enjoying the air conditioning and relishing in its fierce independence.
The Psychedelic Travel Agency was full of couches, tapestries, and posters of colorful fractals. I sank into the rust colored shag carpet. I already felt transported.
“So, you want to go on a trip?” Auralette’s voice broke my reverie. “What kind of little worlds do you want to visit?” She lifted a tray of carefully labeled little foil pouches to the counter. “I offer many choices…”
I read the labels: ‘Mauve Haze’ ‘Fruity Loops’ ‘Robo Rooster’ ‘Time Machine’
“Where does the time machine go?” I asked, pinching myself to see if I was dreaming.
“Far away from here,” Auralette said, “but might I suggest this one for you,” she pointed a bejeweled fingernail to the label ‘Silken Road’. “It will bring you deep inside, which is where I think you really want to go.”