I am back on the road. And I love it. After successful heart surgery and three lonely and boring months parked in a back alley in my new home Vancouver, I am finally rolling on the long American highways again. “The purity of the road. The white line in the middle of the highway unrolled and hugged our left front tire as if glued to our groove.” That’s how I am feeling. Grooving the asphalt, holding the white middle line in a tight embrace, a dance with a steady rhythm that takes me on and on and on, into the never-ending horizon of the road ahead of me. “We’d dig the whole world with a car like this because, man, the road must eventually lead to the whole world. Ain’t nowhere else it can go – right?”
This time we’re not heading East, using the Earth’s momentum to move towards sunrise, gaining one hour of time every couple of days. But this time we’re heading South towards the sun’s zenith, gaining about one hour of sunlight every day. My wheels roll on the highway, continuously covering new distance, slowly making our way across this country.
Places, landscapes, people and cities are passing by. Fleeting impressions that nonetheless imprint themselves in my memory. Either because of their awe-inspiring beauty, because of their stark desolation, or because of their strange foreignness. The colours of these imprints being extremely bright, the contrasts extremely sharp due to the exhilaration of freedom permeating my metal body, sharpening my senses and heightening my feelings. How can I ever forget about this intensity when I’m clogged up in the grey boredom, and the nervous bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic of the city? Just being out here where there’s skies, soil, trees and a road running through it, just being here and rolling is all I need, is all that makes happiness for me.
The morning light breaking through clouds and illuminating the powerful foamy and thundering waves clashing against the steep cliffs of Big Sur. The rolling hills of the Carrizo Plain, covered in a shy green velvet cloak of young grass. The spikey vicious tumbleweeds clutched to the fences of the Mojave Desert, where they’ve will-lessly been carried by dry winds. And then the roads – the windy curves of Big Sur hugging the rugged coastline, where at every turn you either feel like you’re driving right into the ocean or right into the inside of the mountain. Where my drivers enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect speed to elegantly swerve around the narrow corners while breaking as little as possible. Or the desert road going in the straightest line through the desolate, dusty and thorny desert plain. Where I can drive basically by myself, always straight ahead, while my drivers meditate about life.
“We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move.”
P.S.: In case you don’t recognize the quotes I am using – they are from the best book ever written about life on the road: Jack Kerouac’s famous infamous ‘On the Road’ (if you disagree and you think there’s a better one out there, let me know, I am open to being persuaded otherwise, although the bar is set pretty high…).