26 January 2004

Just Drive

Today is beautiful. The temperature is a comfortable seventy five degrees. The sky is bright blue with no clouds. The breeze is soothing in its blow, just enough to ruffle your bangs and cool your skin. Today is one of those days that would be either a great day to die or a great day to live.

I'm 23 now, and am finishing up my last year in nursing school. And so far at 23, I feel that I haven't accomplished shit. I've lived the first fourteen years of my life on Chicago's south side, seeing the same shit over and over again. Then I spent the next nine years of my life in San Antonio, hating everything at first but then falling in love with its wildness and inability to tame the various animals or environment. Here, there are parts of the city and state that are still in the Wild West of the 1800s. And that is what makes it truly special to me in a way Chicago isn't.

But at my 23 years of age I feel restless. It is worst on days like this; when the sun is shining, the sky clear, and the smell of goodness and life is all around me. I think of God, think of my mortality, think of the urges I feel and remember that some day I'll be able to give in to those urges.

The urge I have now and have had frequently is the urge to leave. I want to just drive, man. I just want to get into my car and go where ever the road takes me. I don't intend to pack, won't get any supplies. Just get in my car and go, and see how well I make it day to day with nothing but the clothes on my back and whatever is in my account.

I would want to see the hot states first. I would run through Texas to Arizona and New Mexico, checking those places out. You never hear anything about them. Then I'd raced along California's coast, admiring the ocean and the way it shines. I'd make a pit stop in Oregon, then would continue to Idaho and Utah. Utah, I would make a stop in too. In my mind, I see Utah as a state of red-orange rock; beautiful, majestic and outlasting time. Even now I can feel the hot air on my face and the smell of eternity.

Then I'd double back to Las Vegas, winning or losing as much money as possible and just losing my mind. From there I'd like to visit Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri in hopes of chasing some tornadoes. From there I'd head north to Canada and hang out. This will be the first time I'd left my country.

Maybe I'll stop by Chicago and say goodbye to family there. I know I'll never return. Then as quickly as possible I'd drive through the states to Maine. That's another state I never hear about. Then I'd sell my car to the highest bidder and jump on a plane for Europe.

I'd touch down in Portugal first. That is my heritage. I plan to soak up the culture, the language, the food and the people. After that, I'd chase bulls in Spain (not BE chased), make love in France, get drunk in England, and raise hell in every country from there to Russia. I'd make a trip to Siberia just to be able to bitch about the cold.

China would be the next logical stop, both in Hong Kong and Shanghai, before hopping to Japan and losing my mind again. From there, the Philippines hold some interest for me, before I go to Thailand and finally Africa. My last stop, Australia, will nearly be as long as my stop in Portugal because Australia has always fascinated me. And after that last visit, I simply want to disappear; to unexist.

But right now all I can do is look out my window and daydream about my adventures. All I can do right now is get an education I will waste, wish for things others have, and think if I could really leave my home and never return just to see the good and the ugly in this world.

So I buckle myself down and rope myself in, because all it would take for me to know the answer would be to get behind the wheel and just drive. Lord knows I want to.