6am, my eyes popped open.
“Man, fuck this shit!” I mumbled, tossing my phone back on my bedside table. Dreary morning light, but no rain in the forecast today at least. I got up to use the bathroom and knowing I had an hour before I had to be up, I crawled back into bed and fell back asleep. What a relief.
My alarm at seven had me questioning how badly I really needed my job. Sleep seemed much more important, and I laid there for almost fifteen minutes before deciding to get up. But I did get up, and knowing I had just exactly enough time to get ready I began to get to it.
Getting up late proved to be a mistake as I moved in slow motion, and my give a fuck was running on fumes. Instead of getting ready I answered texts and took a phone call, smoked two cigarettes. . . And all of a sudden I was ready but hadn’t made coffee, couldn’t find my car keys. . . Oy vey. Happy Wednesday.
65mph in a 45mph zone got me to work only five minutes late though. A large pick up truck in front of me slammed on his brakes, and pissed off I swerved around him and zoomed past him. . . Only to notice him on my ass not long after. He then proceeded to get in the lane next to me and attempt to pass me.
“Awww!” I said aloud, laughing. “Did the girl in the little red Buick hurt your big boy feelings?” And looking directly out my passenger window at him I pressed the gas pedal down and shot ahead.
I have a problem. I have zero regard for speed limits, and little car syndrome to boot. Where most people won’t exceed the speed limit by more than 5 to 10 mph, I really don’t give a fuck. I have somewhere to be, and my goal is to get there as fast as possible. I didn’t leave that truck behind because my car is in any way, shape, or form more powerful than his big ass truck. It’s because I was willing to risk a hefty speeding ticket to prove a point: don’t be an asshole.
So, again, today’s quote was fairly fitting, and put me in mind of my love of driving.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
I’ve related my love of driving in a couple different posts – You Can Take the Girl From Michigan, and in Sunday Visitation. As soon as I read this quote I knew what it meant to me, and what I would be writing about this evening.
It’s a joke amongst my friends about my lead foot. I’ve been chastised more than once by my dad about it. I have an uncountable amount of speeding tickets to my name, and every time I get in the car I view it as a race against the clock – just how fast can I get from point A to point B? “She drives that Focus like it’s a fuckin’ Ferrari,” one co-worker told another years ago, and I laughed because it’s accurate. It’s become a game – an overly expensive one at that.
I haven’t been on country roads in damn near five months, so yesterday when I drove out to the cemetery I found myself doing 80mph in no time. It’s such a freeing experience, the wind and the music and just me. . . I can think if I want or I can sing with the radio as loud as I want.
The oddest thing is I have no problem doing 65mph on a busy city street, but you can’t pay me to drive the expressway. I drove 45 minutes out of my way when I went to Inkcarceration in Mansfield, Ohio last year to avoid it. Doing 70 all the way, mind you.
I was 24 before I got my license, and my mom never drove. Getting my license was just another thing I conquered in life, something that someone said I couldn’t do and I did. I worked hard to have the vehicle I have – something else I conquered. I attribute my love for driving in part to these things. It makes me feel powerful in a sense to be behind the wheel of a vehicle I worked my ass off for after so many setbacks.
When I am my most troubled, I yearn for a long drive with the windows down and the radio up. I don’t need a destination necessarily, but it helps that my friends live a decent ways away, and the cemetery is a good drive, too. When I feel like something needs to happen in my life, I find myself in my car driving somewhere, anywhere. I’ll make an excuse to go to the store just to get in my car and go. This is the part of the quote I understand the best – I don’t drive to go somewhere, I drive to be moving, to be taking action. I’m not a patient person, and sometimes there are things in life that require me to sit back and wait. It’s the most frustrating feeling to be moving at a snail’s pace when I know what I want the outcome to be. When I feel powerless to move things along faster, I jump in my car and hit the gas pedal. I’m a person who takes action, not a person who sits back and waits for shit to be handed to me. So when life isn’t going fast enough for me, this is my remedy – an open road, and my radio blasting some sort of upbeat rock song. It makes me feel better to sing at the top of my lungs with the wind in my hair and my speedometer climbing.
Some people pay a therapist, I pay speeding tickets. What can I say.
If life is standing still, I find a way to move. “The great affair is to move.” Absolutely, Mr. Stevenson. I get you.
That’s what I got on this one, guys. Happy Wednesday.