Project Placement 4: The Road

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.

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
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6 Responses to Project Placement 4: The Road

  1. Tiffany says:

    I debated long and long about whether to repost that ‘lost girl’ thing, since I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing for everyone. But, given who I still know in Carbondale and their pro-wandering tendencies, I decided they could make their own choice about whether to tip her off to the heat or to call in the cops.

    • pennyjars says:

      It puts me a strange place because so many days I still feel like that kid wanting to burst out and run free. I can relate to that girl. But I’m a mom now and if either of my daughters took off at 16 I’m sure I’d be posting up a storm. I hope both mom and daughter find what they need.

  2. Judy says:

    I constantly wanted to explore the country when I was trapped in my mother’s house in GA. Strangled by her ancient customs of how a proper Korean girl should behave, I reminded her she made the choice to marry an American G.I. and the need to spread my wings and discover new places was in my blood!! Great post! 16yr may be a bit young but I understand the need, the yearning, the desire burning within to hit the road and head for the sunset!! That’s why I finally moved to CA 🙂

    • pennyjars says:

      Judy,

      I used to say I’d move to either CA or NY when I had the chance. I never did either, but I follow you. My mom is very old school; I can’t imagine trying to consolidate two cultures and two sides of the world into one way of living. It must have been very frustrating for you both. I’m so glad you found your place!

  3. jason says:

    Beautiful.

    I could drive forever.

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