And we might get lost someplace :: song of the day

car

My first car was my solace, my confessional, my escape. It was always full of music, clothing, bags of things; stickers on the outside and inside, sometimes an ice chest. Most often my best friend in the passenger seat; she played the navigator, and as such, she always — always — knew how to get everywhere. Often, too, there were various people cluttering the back seat, a cacophony of voices chiming back and forth made up of laughter, singing, arguing, and those deep conversations that only the open road can invoke.

Truth be known, I hated going home. If I could have lived in my car then, I would have, and in some ways, I guess that I did. Days when I would wake up at dawn and pack the car, drive anywhere, or nowhere in particular, always the first to offer to drive everywhere. One of my favorite “drives” was (still is) up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, up and down the coast. Being near the water is incredible, rolling down the window, breathing in the salty air, the beach breeze, and letting go of everything pent-up inside of me, the music blaring as high as it could go.

Some days I drove alone. Sat in the parking lot by the Newport Beach pier, rolled the windows down and reclined the seat all the way back, catching up on lost sleep, and dreams. I would get out after, hop up on the hood with a composition book and write. Sometimes I would cry, scream, laugh, and then write some more. Then it was back into the car and further down the road, winding through Laguna Canyon, or twisting back to hop on the freeway heading towards Los Angeles. My escape on wheels was sometimes accompanied by my voice screaming along to the words to songs, or sometimes whispering them softly. I would write pieces of poetry on convenience store napkins as I waited for the cute boy with the star tattoo to ring up my pack of smokes, and later, waiting for the light to change, I would add another verse. My ash tray would overflow with clove cigarettes, or Marlboro lights, with the tell-tale red lipstick kiss marks at the end of each discarded butt. I always had my camera with me back then, ever snapping photographs of random sights, people, places, signs. I would not turn back for home until the last possible moment, and even then, I would pause in the driveway, lingering, holding out for just one more song.

Sometimes I truly miss the car escapes. The car I have now is more of a vehicle of purpose, of practicality, the color the only choice that reflects any part of me. It feels more like a means to an end, transport to and from, a machine of necessity. I miss the allure of my old Honda Civic, the personality it had, and the way it was touched by everyone who rode in it – how it was touched by me.

I need a real road trip soon.

Driving with the Brakes On :: Del Amitri

4 thoughts on “And we might get lost someplace :: song of the day

    1. It has been far too long since I drove through the desert with the intention to write – I do miss the way the stars look when there is nothing but space, and lack of light pollution, to drown them out. Makes me long for a road trip even more.

      Thanks Tony.

    1. Around the cusp of the 80’s turning into the 90’s, during my record store clerk era, I was introduced to Del Amitri. I fell hard for their album Walking Hours and always thought they were destined to have a huge career here. Regardless, I continued to love their music, underrated, or not.

      Thank you for the comment.

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