So after you read that one particular thing, you know the one I am talking about (and incase you don’t: the one your mom read before she told you to man-up). Well after you read that, you finally talked to me after a week of quiet and you didn’t have anything new to say and we talked in circles for over an hour. In actual metaphors. It felt endlessly frustrating and silly and nothing like a Ben Howard song.
You are a bad driver apparently. If your mind and emotional availability/stability whatever you want to call it was you and your life was the car it was all over the road, on it’s way to plow through mailboxes and cause mass destruction I guess and you don’t want to bring anyone else into that mess. You said there’s no room for someone to sit next to you through that and why would they want to? That’s fair and logical except for the part that’s not. What if you get a ride from someone else? (ahem ahem, like me) What if you take a few driving lessons like the rest of the world and figure it out? Everyone told me this past summer that it’s a necessary skill if you ever want to stop feeling stuck. But instead of doing those things, or instead of allowing me to learn how awful of a driver you are on my own accord and hopping in and crashing and burning together, or pulling the wheel from your hands and swerving us to safety… you won’t let me in, and more than that, you refuse to drive at all. That is no way to live and you’ll never get anywhere cool.
Public transportation is too crowded and takes to long and it’s uncomfortable and you can’t hear yourself think or talk to anyone about anything important. If you try to walk, you’re going to get so tired and lonely and you won’t make it far. You said you are more of a cyclist. Respectable. But lonely too, is it not? You said, and this part makes me laugh at how angry it made me, you said that if you get lonely someone can just hop on your back pegs and ride along for a little bit here and there and then hop off when they get bored or sick of it. I knew I never liked riding bikes for a reason. I don’t want someone to hop into my life for the pretty parts, just to make us both a little less lonely, only to hop off when the road get’s bumpy or the view isn’t as nice, or they are tired of hearing about all the stories in my head. I’d rather drive my car off a bridge or through a brick wall.
I don’t want anyone hopping on and off my bike pegs. I don’t want to be traveling slow enough for that to even be possible, I don’t want people like that to ever be able to catch up with me. You think cycling is the safer option? I think it’s terrifying. You are so vulnerable and exposed and more prone to flat tires and scraped knees. A bus could hit you, and I highly doubt you are the type of person to be wearing a helmet. And like you said, anyone can hop on the back of your bike like that, anyone, all it would take is for you to slow down for a second, which would inevitably happen when you realize biking everywhere get’s tiring and you need to catch your breath. Sorry, but no thank you, I will not be biking anytime soon.
Now that I know how to drive, I want to drive forever. I want joy rides by the ocean and nighttime cruises on the empty roads of my hometown and I want road trips. I have things I want to do and see, and places I need to get to. I don’t need to speed down highways or take high speed trains, but I do need to arrive in a timely fashion, and have time and energy to explore once I arrive. I want someone to come with me, I truly do, but only someone who wants to be there. I want someone who wants to take our time and to ask for extra pit stops along the way. I want someone who won’t hop in or out but is in it for the long haul, will take turns driving when one of us needs to rest our eyes, and will roll the windows down and soak in every second. I don’t want them to feel stuck I want them to feel free, like they are getting away far and fast away from all the things we will be leaving behind and I want them to be excited about where we are going and about the fact that they are going anyplace at all with me. We will take pictures and turns picking music, adventure along back roads, and entertain each other with over ambitious rambles and rants about our future and past and mostly the present. We will see it all and do it all and we won’t ever look back or turn around.
I would love to go on a road trip with you. I’d let you choose the music for the whole first half without interrupting for once and I’d pay for gas and I’d drive most of the way until you finally got the hang of it. I would take you to beautiful places and to everywhere you have ever wanted to go and I would speed past anything that held you back from those things and places, and leave them in our dust. When we were talking about this a while ago I told you that I had to get going, but if I ever saw you with a flat tire on the side of the road I would help you. I said if you got sick of cycling and were a little lost and alone on the side of the road and about to start hitch hiking, that I would come scoop you up. I said to call me if the weather got bad or your legs got tired or you got sick of people just hopping on and off of your back pegs and wanted someone to stick around. If you decided you wanted to get places and make it to the coolest ones and were finally packed up and ready to learn how to drive and feigning for a road trip, then I would love to teach you and take you.
I said all of those things, and we sort of left it at that. I hopped in my car and you on your bike and we started heading to our separate places, half knowing we wouldn’t get too off track or far off from each other, were more likely than not to cross paths again, and were only a phone call away. More recently, I realized or decided that’s not always going to be true. All those offers are going to expire someday soon, because I have got to get going. I can’t sit and be stuck and be on the lookout for you on the side of the road. I have to keep my eyes ahead or else you won’t be the only one crashing and burning. I don’t want to miss out on anything down the road because I was looking back for someone who might very likely be traveling in the complete opposite direction. I’m not saying I found a partner in crime to take on a lifetime adventure and road trip around the world with me yet, not even close, but I know I am not going to find them sitting around here, and I know that I can’t wait around forever. So whoever it is and whoever they are, they might already be past me or ahead of me, and I have to be going now if I ever want to catch up. I need to move on and get on with my life. Even if I never find whoever it is, I would rather get to beautiful places alone, than to sit here looking at the same things forever. I guess I am just saying if you ever change your mind or are feeling stuck and alone and need a ride, you can call. I just might not have cell service where I’m going and I might not bring my phone everywhere. I might be too far off to turn around or stop and wait for you to catch up, if you do decide to ever catch up. The longer you wait to decide that, the farther I will be, and the faster and harder you’ll have to drag your little bike along to get to wear I am. You might have to hop off and start running and I might be in some high up place, I’ll be on mountain tops and over oceans and finding out where I am will only be half the battle, actually getting to me and convincing me to let you in my car will be harder. I might not even have room in my car by that point, and might give up your seat to someone else, someone who will blast just as much Ben Howard and talk to me in half the useless metaphors.