the road trip east

(it's october and i'm finally writing this up from a scrap of paper i found in one of my books...)

we're college students. we decided to do it in three days.

it all seems like a blur, which can happen when you spend thirty-odd straight hours in a car. i know we traveled over familiar teritory, the loneliest road in america that goes thru the most amazing countryside, made even more incredible at night. big looming hulks of sandstone; clouds over utah - so dark that they seemed to eat the stars. i slept thru denver, so there was no calling alexis... who knows if i'll ever see here again, perhaps we'll run into eachother on a sidewalk and she'll look at me with confident but playful eyes.

driving out of the west, facing towards a gray horizon, i hoped for rain, a big storm to wash the summer off of us, to serve as some portal, but nothing ever came.

when we got to anne's in st. louis it was like it was only a few days ago we'd been here, only this time chuck was with us. we were grundgey and delerious from more than a day of driving. i went straight for the shower, and what an epic shower it was... hot hot water that steamed out all the fresh smells of whatever soups were around me... it was the best thing in the world at that moment. hot showers redeem your soul sometimes.

after i got out we ended up going to a pool nearby, floating around under a nighttime sky, tired but refreshed, playing marco polo and sliding down the slide, sometimes just drifting in the dark water. it reminded me of times with sandy, when we'd stay at nancy's house in brielle on the jersey shore. she had a little heated pool that we would soak in, rest from hard fun at the beach, joke around, mellow out, laugh up at the sky. "the pool... is warm." hehe ;)

i called my dad to check in, and when i told him about the drive he mentioned a similar trip he made with some buddies back in college. i had to keep prodding him for details... four of five guys in a baracuda sports car, skis strapped to the top, driving straight to vail, colorado from cornell for a few days. once the skis flew off, but somehow they survived. he'd never really told me any of his college stories... it was cool to hear that he did stupid things too, had his fun just like i'm having mine... we can connect on the craziness.

the next day i was reading "on the road" and i started thinking about cory, my old best friend from early elementary school years... how his house was such a great place to grow up and be creative - a littered house, big wooden blocks and lots of smelly blankets, pizza dough, a scary basement + an above-ground pool, begging my mom to stay over another night for days in a row. the house always smelled of big dogs, was dimly lit most of the time. i remember once we stayed up all night and went to sleep in the morning, slept all day till the afternoon in his livingroom wrapped in blankets in the most profound, warm slumber. i haven't heard from him in years. i wonder what he's like. his mom died.

we survived driving thru some crazy city in the midwest - columbus - and as we began to feel the east in the air simon and garfunkle's homeward bound came on... and it rang so true... i longed for home in a way i hadn't before, something i wasn't used to but was strangely lacking till now. it felt good, even if it didn't last much beyond the fading lyrics.

i slept some more, in the space in the back seat we'd made, just big enough to tempt you to stretch out but without enough room to actually do so. in my traveler's quasi-sleep my world was simplified, and the night and the bass from my car stereo brough back memories of nights in the bahamas, off in my room like all the other kids, sleeping while the parties went on, with their amplified bass guitars and various drums, all penetrating the island and transmiting back to our rooms as some sort of lusterous fog of sound in the humid air. one of the cooler things to fall asleep to.

after leaving chuck at wayne's house i finally did get home. i was there not an hour or two before sandy called me up, and we went out to the shore again, as good restless souls do.

08.10 | august | 08.21