My heart draws me to travel. Not to great distances or great heights lit up bright as the fourth of July in the evening, but to the points of the earth where there is no connection between us and by us I mean me and them until I break them apart only to rename them as singled out, “You”. But it hangs heavy, my heart, like deadweight strapped in tight to center of gravity, chained-like. I can’t outwardly describe this essence of longing I have for all things on those dusty highways and exits that lead nowhere. I want to be nowhere but there. Where? I don’t know.
But to see the signs passing, the milemarkers counting off the incalculable distance one by one. In succession, like pillars in effigy of the great kings in the passing of time. Barrelling past them, because I’m not of royal descent but if only for a second, at night, you can bask in the reflecting glow of their once-greatness that fades in passing. Time is the forward motion of all things and it is time that God has given and will one day take away. I want to make the most of it.
Yeah, I want to make the most of it but I do not feel I have the means or the drive to drive away, forsaking things behind me and to just… Go. My great strength is not in the great outside-of-here and I know this. But I feel, sometimes, if I don’t get moving I will surely die here. Inside my head is a million single objects going in every direction at once and nothing has ever quieted the noise like asphalt under tires and watching my comfort zone pass in the rear-view mirror like a slow zoom-out at the end of the type of movie that no one would make anymore.
Life and heart don’t sell. It’s why all the great artists died poor and lived off nothing. Jack Kerouac wrote the original draft of “On the Road” on a scroll at a time when he had nothing and travelled the country on alcohol and benzadrine among other things. Hubert Selby, Jr. lost a lung to TB and still lived to ripe, old age. He knew the hells of true life and created his fictional worlds around it much like Bukowski. Great men who drowned themselves in liquor and barely kept their head above it, but survived it until the end. They felt the weight of the things they created and it almost seemed to cause great pain in their life. Like they were tormented by something inside. I feel that way sometimes, but nothing I could drown in booze as that just makes it worse.
My heart is weighted down but calmed and quieted by these men of great strength. Like them, in a way, I long to get out of these chains that bind me to myself and that root me to the soil of the metropolitan area in which I currently reside and to let loose the designs in my head, to put them down in a sense of permanency in the way only print can be. My dreams are composing a storied symphony of characters and atmospheres but I haven’t gotten the full pictures yet. I have seen my characters but the plot has yet to develop because I don’t think my subconscious has written it yet.
I’m inspired by the road. On its forgetting surfaces have I composed many ideas and formulated many phrases that would later become full writings that no one really sees. I don’t think anyone can truly see me sometimes and that’s not to discredit anyone who knows me but to truly say there are probably parts of myself that have not yet been unleashed. Pieces of myself and my psyche that haven’t yet been created or matured. I should pray constantly for the formation and the release of the caged parts of myself but I don’t. My prayers are for you. For my friends, my family, for the road warrior who is living the dream I can only visualize but not perpetuate. I feel I am being honest with myself when I feel the tears running down my cheeks. I feel it now. Authenticity, for me, hurts sometimes.
So, I set my thoughts on the road. Not knowing if, someday, I will see its many curves, hills and fields I will pray for a sense of guidance and hope that someday my calling will be the road. The road is like the Pacific. It has no memory and, like a lot of people have done in my life, it will forget me and you and them. So, I will one day record my memories for the road like Jack Kerouac, Donald Miller and Henry Rollins in the hopes that, while the road may forget the frictiongrip of the rubber of my tires, someone may remember me and gain something. That my broken love for everyone, in spite of myself, did not go quietly into the night down an old dirt road to be lost in the backwoods forever.