Two yellow stripes
. A black, textured, continuous birth canal. My companion the dark highway. I can remember these Orphic
travellings from my youngest days as the tiny constellation of my family crossed half the continent in a scattering of nights. The love of the night highway
grew in me as my countless journeys ticked their odometer marks into my consciousness.
I can remember it all so vividly. The black pavement, almost infinite, it's defining lines threading the recurring pools
of light from the overhanging lamps. In later times, I drove, pushed forward, the streetlights snaking their linear patterns before me. These dark ways, watched over by the King of Beef and the Queen of Dairy. Neon
, excited by streams of electrons, enliven the acres of black parking pavement as the car sits, tap-tap-tapping the song of cooling metal and settling fluids. Back on the road
, the curving procession of red tail-lights stretch before me, leading, and tracing the contours of the invisible landscape.
But there are not always others to lead. The barren tarmac has it's own allure
. There is a last man on earth
feeling, as if there are only two points: Myself, and a Destination, far off approaching. It is on these empty roads that I am a god, swooping close to the ground, hugging hill and dale, patrolling the empty spaces between towns, between the outposts people have built to keep out the night. Or I am a perfect human, returning from a triumph, from a glorious drop of time that feels like I've been suspended in honey
. At these times the works of man blend effortlessly with those of nature, there ceases to be a difference between an overpass and a ridge, between asphalt and grass, between cement and trees. They all exist, unified
, together framing the surface I travel. Or I am an urchin, a wretched soul fleeing the hurt. Disappearing, for a moment, from my life and all it's disasters. On those nights the trees threaten
, their gnarly roots unfamiliar and unwelcoming, staving off any urge to leave the road. Or perhaps I am merely a beaten down exhausted
pack mule on a banal utilitarian journey, counting miles, cities, interstates
, slowly nearing the point of opulent rest.