Many years ago now, after cracking open a few books and starting what might be called a protracted course of self-directed study, and after dropping out of University a second time, I decided it was time to hit the road and seek out the adventure that was lacking within the limited horizons of a suburban upbringing. So, with a hockey bag full of essentials I stood on the side of the highway with my thumb stuck out.
It wasn’t long before I realized I would rather be driving the vehicle, and the truck in particular, than relying on the rides of others. At least that way I figured I could be making money while traveling the highways and byways of North America.
Had Kerouac learned to drive and taken the wheel how different his life and work might have been! Instead, he relied on others to the end, and his writing reflects that fact, growing sadder and more desolate with each work.
I still enjoy the meditative solitude of driving. Yesterday morning, to the sounds of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, an audiobook of Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, and the haunting creeping madness of Pink Floyd’s The Wall I headed north into and through a petal-like pink dawn behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.
What a journey this life of ours is!