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Road Trip

February 3, 2013

This post is to honor a small brave band of warriors of the spirit who, as I write this, are on the road from Charlottesville, VA to Charleston, SC, with no other end than to go, no plan but at the last minute, no mission but to eat some good food, check out the city, and then turn around and come right back. Circumstances did not allow me to join them. In truth, if I did something like that now I would be afraid that it might be like when I saw a Yo La Tengo show last week — that I wouldn’t be able to help thinking, “This was a lot more exciting in the Nineties.” (It was also a lot cheaper back then, with gas prices sometimes below a dollar a gallon, but that’s just a practicality.) Some of my most cherished memories are of spontaneous road trips, but they are pretty distant memories. Like the time I was sitting around with some friends one evening and we decide we would drive to Atlanta. Within an hour we were in the car headed south. Forty-five minutes into it we decided we didn’t really want to go to Atlanta so we turned around and headed for New York. The main thing we did there was go to the Bronx Zoo. Which was not all that. From a certain perspective, a normal perspective, the whole trip was pretty boring. But I am so glad I went. As glad I did that as anything.

There are obvious things to say about this sort of thing. The word ‘freedom’ will come up, for example. But I think any language I could use would be a lie, would be an antagonism to what it was about. So please ignore this post, as the majority of the world’s population, to an unimaginably vast extent, already has. Like a road trip, a blog post is something done for no good reason, that nobody particularly wants you to do, and that is generally associated with poor hygiene and an unhealthy diet. But it must move. It has to go. I can’t find a direction to point this one at, even roundaboutly.

Except to say that just getting in a car and driving to Charleston or wherever, maybe even Atlanta, in the middle of the night is as good an expression that I know of what makes humankind worthwhile. It’s what I like about us and what I respect. We’re roadtrippers, thank god, that’s what we are. And godspeed to us all.

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