It hit me today — a need so strong that it couldn’t wait. It had to be quenched as soon as possible. I had to go drive. Those who know me, know that I’m constantly driving: to work, to the store, to some random event that I decided to attend at the last minute. But this is different. Like a siren calls a sailor to sea, the road beckons to me, urging me to run wild on the smooth asphalt lanes.
An invite to dine with Mr. & Ms. R was perfectly timed. Perhaps an 80 mile drive (and delicious Korean barbeque) would satiate the speed demon that seems to lurk inside my soul. With Oleg, my trusted partner-in-crime, the roads felt amazing. And on a traffic-less Sunday night, I couldn’t help but wonder how people could spend their lives hating driving, how people didn’t enjoy feeling the power of an engine on a long stretch of highway.
Though the service was horrible, the food was delicious and the company even better. Mr. & Ms. R are new friends that I am so grateful to have met and am enjoying getting to know better. We talked about lots of different things and ended the night at the best ice cream stand I have ever tried.
I began to make the trek back home with Siri as a guide to hopefully get me onto the 405N without issue and thankfully, this time, she did. I felt content, ready to go home and procrastinate on a thousand things I need to do. But as I drove that downhill stretch towards the San Fernando Valley, the wanderlust hit me again. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough road to travel, not enough gas to keep driving, and not enough time to fulfill the ever-growing need to just keep going.
The road called out to me, my own siren, begging me to satisfy my long-time dream of aimlessly driving to my heart’s content — to go beyond my little burg into the unknown. However, tomorrow’s responsibilities and an unfortunately empty wallet refused to let me give in. I would have to find my release another way. The long way home, while nothing near what I wanted, would have to do for now.
I left the freeway in search of that familiar canyon road. Nervousness tingled through my body as I never feel as if I do the drive justice. Comparisons to more experienced drivers make me a little sad that I don’t feel that I have improved. My hair is tied up tight as the windows are rolled down to let the cool air in. There’s 20°F difference between here and where I had just left. I drive through the canyon and the cold air nips at my tips of my ears and bites at my hands. As the temperature drops below 40°F, I feel a stiffness in my hands that seems too arthritic for someone aged 25. A momentary bit of sadness in my happy little drive.
No one is around, no pressure from behind, no reason coming that I should turn off my high beams. Just me, Oleg, and a need to learn how to shift better on twisty roads. Some moments of confusion have me wishing for a companion who could help me learn how to shift better, wishing for Optimus and his moonroof and 4eat transmission, but in the end of that thought process, I realized it was better the way that it was.
With the canyon behind me and the road straightening out, I still felt unsatisfied. There was one last road to take. One last road before there were no more options. In my contemplation about wanderlust, I almost missed the left turn onto the little twisty road, named after some rich person whose local importance has escaped me. This road is so familiar to me, its twists and turns almost second nature after taking it almost every night to work. I speed through it and it’s surprisingly over, almost in a flash. The bright lights of the valley signify the end of the trip, no more detours to make. I mentally turn on autopilot and a new need begins to consume me… the need to write.