on the road

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road: the Original Scroll


There is something that happens to the brain during a very, very long car ride. It becomes a highway, stretching out, gathering traffic, sending out signs offering helpful bits of information (slow down, working zone). When I am behind the wheel, while he keeps track of license plates, I watch the silent film of landscape; I wonder what it is like to be a tree in the median which never gets climbed, carved into by lovers or hugged; I wonder if I will make it to my fortieth year of existence; I wonder if my mailbox at home has mail for me yet. He wants to talk, but I somehow left my words in Brooklyn. I use the wrong vocabulary here and I don’t know the right dialect for manners in the south and I miss the sound of graffiti scraping off tongues that has become such a familiar sound in my city. I guess leaving is the best way to fall in love again.