nightdrive

in the car, i thought about writing a poem. the stars look even better through a sunroof… it’s proof that some things are out of industrialization and materialism’s reach. not that i don’t like my sunroof (i do). but i was driving along, not going anywhere, not sure how far i should go before turning around, and thinking that when i get back here (my room) i should try to put that glance of the night sky into words. that was the problem with it – the words. i can never find quite the right ones. so i will stick with ‘regular’ writing over a poem, because a) this way i can focus on ideas instead of every last word, and 2) poetry would only further sappiness-up something already sufficiently sappy, in my opinion.

see, i’m not even looking at the screen right now. except to see how many letters to delete when i horribly tangle up a word, i’m keeping my eyes shut. i don’t know why. mostly i’m hoping this will help me keep on the train of thought, instead of looking back over every sentence as i go along. the problem is, it might not be recognizable when i open my eyes. so earlier, maybe fifteen minutes ago, i was thinking about writing a poem and then about why i shouldn’t and then about how i always end up writing about the writing itself at some point. i don’t know if i’m just really a grammar/english nerd or if it’s easier to write about writing than to even try and write about something else.

tonight i could not handle just dropping off my sister, and driving back home, and doing homework for half an hour before i go to bed. i didn’t have a bad or a great day but it was another thursday, which will be followed by another friday and then a weekend and then another week of “just” days. a drive seemed the only logical conclusion, as it often does when i notice the tank is three-fourths full and the sky is clear. the sky is really, really clear.

i could have seen the stars as easily from in town, even though the city lights dim them a bit. but the town itself is starting to weigh on me for whatever reason and especialy since it’s a weekend night i wanted to get out. i picked the north route because it’s usually most abandoned. i kept going until i found a decent looking route to wander. i had never been here before.

my car might as well have been picked up and dropped in kentucky. i can’t imagine where all those hills came from. subconsciously and then consciously i was looking for a spot to pull over and sit for awhile and give the sky more than a glance through the roof. i found several but did not want to turn around in someone’s driveway. i don’t know what alternative i exepected to find, but i kept driving. at the bottom of another hill i passed a waiting sheriff and remembered that i’m a college guy wandering around at 11:00 on a thursday.

i crossed a set of uneven tracks (the sign said so and it was right) and came to a t-intersection. not wanting to u-turn with the sheriff half a block away, i turned left. i don’t know what road i was on or even what road i turned off of, but home was only a right turn and a few stop signs away. i don’t know where i ended up but it was a small village and i don’t think i’d been there. hard to tell in the dark but even in the dark (or especially in the dark, rather) i felt uncomfortable turning around here. I decided to turn in the middle of a open stretch of road but halfway through the u realized the road led to abrupt four-foot drops on either side. embarassed, i backed up and went to the next driveway and turned in. before i could change my mind a motion light flicked on and despite lights suddenly showing around the next bend i backed out and headed for home. fast.

the stars had been forgotten. even with nowhere to go and nothing to hide i felt nervous. if i stopped on the side of the road, it would take my headlights a few seconds to go out. a few seconds for someone to notice and call the police and send a personal greeter to ask me why i was sitting in my car on the side of the road at night. big deal.

but i did not stop now. even when i passed a smooth place i’d noticed on the way out, i kept going. with classes again in the morning, maybe it was best i not look at the stars for too long.

when town came into view, the city lights looked much wider spread than i remember. i took one final detour down a road whose destination i’d always wondered, but after passing a spooky one-lane bridge with only blackness visible past the high steel frame sides, i decided it was time to be home. cars and houses and pedestrians everywhere were almost welcome sights. people on the sidewalks, people in their houses, people wasting time. how many would have noticed if i’d never turned around?

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