I remember listening to Weird by Clem Snide, driving through Indianapolis some summers ago. How the sun kept playing tricks on me and how the landscape changed like a slow twirling kaleidoscope, reconfiguring the horizon with sparkly newness the farther west I drove. Indiana sunk behind me, back into itself- into its own drabness, and I was glad to be rid of all 275 miles. It got me thinking of love and sex and relationships and how everything forward comes from nothing, just like us.
If someone asked me six months ago if I thought you would be in my bedroom with your shirt off, sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to Dawn Landes tunes on my iPod, I wouldn’t have believed it. Not you. Six months ago was August. It was August sixth. I was with the other guy, writing things like: “You love your man, Tracy. But he is struggling. He is trying to pay down his debts. It has nothing to do with you…He’s just tired, Tracy. That’s all.”
See, you’re driving and driving under easy conditions, a few bumps, but mostly flat land, miles of green field. And then all of a sudden you hit this drop and the world falls away like nothing- and you’re left, undone, holding onto to the steering wheel for dear life, just trying not to crash and burn. You no longer trust the road and you’re looking for god on the hills. In the clouds. Hoping something out there will save you. But all you’ve got are these weird, bulbous pea green and yellow hills that make no sense. Even the air out by Ocoama is different.
I remember imagining the landscape as a soul, once I reached the canyons. The deeper you go, the closer you are to being reborn. It’s like the land gives you this second chance. That’s how it feels now. I am driving toward you, through you, and I have no idea what beauty or ugliness you’ll spring on me, but I don’t care. Where there’s a turn in the road. A curve. A drop. I’m driving not because I need to be somewhere. I’m driving because I’m on the road. Because I want to see everything. Because when you’re through moving you’re through. And I’ve learned to trust myself. And because the only god I ever found was the one who never showed up to rescue me.
Or maybe he did. Maybe he was the road.
Your hills and valleys. Your forests. Your empty space. Your source, your sink. I stop and I rest and I make peace with the newness of your sights and sounds and smells. It’s all so new. Like the first time I parked and inhaled the dust of red rocks in Moab, felt the heat, touched the old earth… saw nothing but felt the entire universe, and knew I wanted to stay.