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And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band
I realized yesterday when I went to fill out my day planner/journal that I skipped nearly a week in the book without noticing. Less than a week since my last day on my contract job, and time is already a strange jumble.
My last day was last Friday. That following Saturday, very early in the morning, I was on my way to the train station to make my way to the airport. Less than a week, and there’s already a few thousand miles, a couple of states, and three hotel stays between me and that life. It’s been weird getting reacquainted with myself, trying to figure out new routines, make new priorities for myself. I had not realized how much I needed to do that.
Traveling always gives me the chance to think the thoughts I’m usually too busy to think while I’m worrying through whatever “real life” is happening at home. I’ve also been dreaming so much more in the past week, more vividly, waking up remembering bits of details or whole scenes, stories my subconscious tried to push along so I had something to mull over while brushing my teeth or going to the bathroom.
And then there’s the freedom that comes from knowing the likelihood of knowing the people you pass–or ever seeing them again–is incredibly unlikely. You move differently, more independently, willing to take social risks, like speeding up to cut off slow walkers or adjusting the position of your underwear. It’s thrilling to start a day with little-to-no normal responsibilities in front of you: it’s magical, empowering, intimidating.
But trips like these also remind you that things are, in many respects, no better or no different than where you’re coming (or running?) from; that every town has people waking up too early to live and love and work and worry through whatever life they built for themselves in this Other Place that somehow looks like Your Place, if you squint your eyes as you pass by their strip of highway with the McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. There are beautiful buildings and landmarks and natural occurrences worth the cost of the plane ticket and rental car, but the dusty bail bonds storefronts and abandoned storefronts and early AM shift at the hotel or rest stop remind you that the views here certainly are not free, that not everyone is remembering their dreams upon waking.