On the road I ask myself, “am I someone who lives or only pretends to live.”
Everything I’m interested in seeing is off the road, the further off the road the more interesting, but I don’t have time to see it, I’ve got to be somewhere else tomorrow.
The mission at my age is to slightly expand my world, a little at a time, but not to overflow it.
Driving the interstate, one must be ever vigilant not to exceed ones limit of driving – that is, not to drive any longer than it takes to read a long novella at one sitting or a light entertainment, one of the detective novels by the late John D. MacDonald that I used to consume like candy when I was young: that is, two hours.
Driving the interstate the landscape is junk except when it isn’t and then it’s a parade of trees, lakes, rivers, and magnificent raptors soaring in from Mount Shasta. Common birds, if any bird can be called common, hug the interstate—crows, ravens—close to the source of their major food supply, roadkill. Trucks, carrying everything we need to build our houses and fill our shelves rumble along in the slow lane, except when one of them wants to pass another truck and takes over the fast lane, slowing cars, which they outnumber now 2 to 1, to a 60 mph crawl.
Eight hours of driving and I’m done. I haven’t had one thought I can hang onto. I pull off the road and check into a Best Western, asking for a quiet room because I’m a writer. Mason, the night clerk, puts me on the third floor. I plop down on the bed and close my eyes, but it’s no use it’s like I’m still driving. I turn on the TV. Every hotel room in America should be required to have C-SPAN, as every hotel room offers the Gideon Bible, but the Best Western doesn’t offer C-SPAN, so I hit the remote to ESPN and watch the Lakers play the Jazz.