Maybe I was just drunk, but there is something about the way you looked at me that I haven’t been able to get out of my head all day. There was that usual look of feigned surprise a quick smile we shared like our secret. There was something different though, was it a longing I saw aching in your eyes? or was it a glistening desire? They seemed to twinkle compassionately, was it love? Maybe I was just drunk, but I swear there was something else there. Something I’ve never seen before but I sure wouldn’t mind seeing it again.
I want to do something stupid. Something so idiotic that in twenty years I’ll think back and wonder to myself “God, that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done but I sure had a hell of a good time doing it.” I want to sit alone on city rooftops, admiring the noise from hundreds of feet above. I want to run away from security guards. I want to lay down on runways watching planes fly right above me. I want the excitement, I need the thrill. Sometimes I just feel like I’m merely surviving on this big green and blue planet but I want to live. Really live.
“Hey, you said you like motorcycles right?” This is not real life he’s actually going to ask me to ride his motorcycle “Well would you like to ride one?” Oh my god this is not happening how do I sound excited but not crazy “YES I WOULD LOVE TO!” I think that was appropriate. I follow him outside, past the lawn and I watch him disappear into a shed. I don’t even really know this guy what if it’s a ploy to get me alone and he’s going to murder me what if this is the end for me what have I got myself into, wait nevermind, the shed is full of motorcycles and a boat I think I’m safe for now.
“This one is mine.” he points to a sleek black bike. “It’s beautiful.” I say. “Which helmet would you like” he is modeling them for me now, one has bald eagles on it and the other is black with the word gangster written across the back. I choose the gangster one. He’s telling me how I need to lean with him when he turns and to not put my feet down until he says to. I’m still fumbling with the helmet, he laughs “Here, I’ll help you.” He brushes the hair out of my face and clips it with ease. I think I’m in love. He sits down and looks at me expectantly. I sit down behind him, “Okay hold on tight” I slip my hands around his waist and hope he can’t feel me shaking. The engine revs and we lurch forward past the gravel and onto the street.
We drive slowly down the road, the breeze feels good on my skin and the moon is full and bright. We take a turn and pick up speed, faster and faster. I hold on to him a little tighter and rest my head on his back. I’m watching the countryside flash by content as can be.
I don’t even notice us stop. “This is weird.” he says. “What’s wrong?” my voice shakes with concern. “This light isn’t changing to green.” I laugh at myself for worrying about everything and tell him to just go. “That’s illegal! I don’t want to get a ticket!” I look up at the stoplight and notice the cameras but whisper again “Go, it will be an adventure.”
He presses the gas cautiously and we are moving again, picking up speed, hair flowing in the wind, laughing without a care in the world into the night
As I drove past the rolling green and brown hills of the Palouse today I had an interesting thought, I could literally travel to any point in the continental United States by simply getting in my car and driving. Thousands of different cities and parks that I have access to 24 hours a day. It’s a daunting thought, a few hundred years ago the average person would have dreamed of leaving their town let alone traveling across the country. They couldn’t do it even if they wanted to, there were no cars, no roads, and it was extremely dangerous. I love sitting in the passenger seat, looking out the window, and watching the electrical phone lines pass by. They swoop up and down never seeming to end and just behind them a beautiful landscape. I could sit and watch that for hours, perfectly serene and happy.
Anyone could pack their bags and just go, anywhere. Yet no one does. It would be so easy so very easy and we just sit on our couches complaining about this town. The world is so big and vast go explore it. No one is forcing you to stay, it’s your life do what you want. I know it sounds cliche but when you are 80 years old sitting on your front porch watching the birds play you are going to be wishing you had gone on that road trip to see the grand canyon, you are going to regret not floating down the Mississippi, you are going to be angry and frustrated that you didn’t once sleep under nothing but the stars.