This is the place where wheels drive on shoulders and sometimes stop for directions or just to break down. Or sometimes we get too close and dent each other and we pull over to assess the damage, swap information and say, “Y’all. It’s going to be alright.” And it will be despite the rotting carcass of some unidentifiable animal that’s close enough for you to know it without seeing it and hold your nose at the odor as you step further away from the solid white line towards the grass thinking to yourself that may be you if you’re not careful. You fold your arms as if it’s all the affection and protection you’ll ever need from this high speed, easily broken pieces of American/Japanese/Dirtyknees… weaponry.
It is not often I admit to myself I want to meet the woman of my dreams between the painted lines of a highway or an interstate sparsely decorated with semis and other drivers. Perhaps at the height of noon so the sun won’t be in my eyes as I’m sailing Westbound wearing black shades, destination unknown. Because that’s what I do when I want to be alone, you know? I take to the long stretches of asphalt sandwiching ditches of grass and intermittent, unusable U-Turn lanes that are only inhabited by the State Troopers so you don’t get caught using them.
There will come a time when I will be so focused on me I will have completely forgotten what I left my hind me and lost sight of my immediate, peripheral, surroundings when that persistent wailing of wind caressing the body of another car and the whining of rubber tires will catch my ear and only gently shake me from my reverie. The road will curve to the left a little so, for a moment, I feel like it’s NASCAR and I have to correct for my movements as well as those around me and that’s when I’ll see the body… of her car and I will pay no more attention to it other than to avoid dangerous collision.
When the road straightens out I will look out of habit at the driver beside me and I won’t be able to make her out perfectly. But in the moment that you can’t see our eyes meet through our black, UV resistance shields, we will know each other’s stories. From the way that we drive and the plainness of our bodies with the doors closed and the windows up. She will forget where she’s going and I will follow her anywhere because i know her.
Meet me at the truck stop for dinner for two. I’ll bring the fine $5 wine if you wear your prettiest dress. We’ll get married in the chapel trailer that I just found out exists. We’ll figure out the rest as we go. We’ll throw rice from the height of the overpass and dance to the music playing from the door of the car parked behind us, lit by the headlights.
I want to meet the woman of my dreams between the painted lines of a highway or interstate. Someday…