road trip

open road

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I’m driving barefoot, eating a packet of half-melted Gushers.

A podcast takes me on a journey, as the miles tick by. I am engrossed in the controversy described within a school board in New York, to the point I begin to outline the argument I would make if I spoke at that meeting. I think with righteous indignation: I am going to go there and tell them what a mess they are making, for the children! Of course, I am not.

Fields of brittle grass seem to hover unchanged on the sides of the highway. The road is unnaturally straight. Like someone took a chalk string, strung it out for 400 miles and snapped it on the ground, then built a road on that chalky line.

It’s funny how eight hours trapped in a small moving compartment can be so freeing. Electric poles sweep by methodically, setting a rhythm to the drive. My car’s engine is soothing, like a cat purring. A smokey smell wafts from the back, where my camping equipment sits in tangled heaps and pasted with dried mud and leaves.

A few hours earlier, tufts of fog twisted and glided between hills of caramel-colored trees. The sun sat glimmering between the mountains, just having peaked over the horizon. The road pitched up and down hills. How the scenery has changed in just a few hundred miles.

Now, the heat from the sun’s rays are bouncing through my windows, pushed back by the fervent work of my AC, as it breathes cool air through the vents.

I play a game of leap frog with a few familiar cars.

The haunting feeling of reality is settling in the closer to home I get. There, I will have to unpack and do laundry and buy groceries and do all the normal every-day things I do all the time.  I sigh. The more trips I take, the harder it is to return to normalcy.

For now, though, I’m content in my car, snacking and listening to conspiracy stories, contemplating the origins of such a stick-straight highway.