Notebooks and pens and Pringles and cheese. Clove cigarettes depending on the year. 34 hours on a Grayhound Bus. Or 36 hours in a Suzuki Samarai with no air at a high speed of 65 down the side of a Nevada mountain. Burning Man. Boulder. Taos. The Blue Ridge Mountains. A garbage bag of fresh picked sage. Mud on top. Water on the bottom. Dust and driving, driving.
The road. American motion. The Mustang Motel–no, don’t ever stay there.
I say it’s the staying at home with Ma that gave me the bug. I say it’s the desire for momentum, that once I found the motion I stayed in motion, though it wouldn’t be true all the way.
I’ve waited tables and cleaned houses and worked in factories but I’ve only gotten so far with the road.
Jim Morrison’s “The west is the best” gouged at my high school stasis.
Jack Kerouac, well, what couldn’t he do to the hungry?
Today I read a post on a friend’s Facebook page written by a mother of a 16 year old girl asking for help bringing her daughter home. The girl ran away, off to a Rainbow gathering. The mother said, “16 is too young to be running around the country on her own.”
And I feel it, the girl’s burning, the girl’s hunger, the girl’s freedom yanking her out into her own and away.
It’s something I would have done given the chance and the balls. But I didn’t have them at 16. At 19 you could barely hold me down. At 23 I grew up enough to know the road is always there leading us forth as well as bringing us back home.