The summer after my freshmen year in college — I was – lost. I didn’t know where I was going, and even though I knew what I wanted, I couldn’t have it. That year I became one of the only first-years in college, to drop fifteen pounds, even though, I had worked since January, full-time, at an Olive Garden. That summer, on nights off, I wanted for everything. And so, when I was alone, I would get in my car, and drive. Coffee in the cup holder, and a pack of cigarettes in the passenger seat, and just drive, till the restlessness subsided
When I was in grad school, planning a wedding, and having panic attacks as if they were my duty – I would drive to UMass for classes, and there was this field, and you could see the sun setting into it some days, and I imagined that if I drove right into the sunset, it would bring me other places.
Lately, I find myself driving again, realizing there is little that ties me to this valley, but everything that keeps me here. Some, I would imagine would say I’m lost. But-
There is no map to bring me home,
and no guide-book to tell me how to get where everyone imagines I should be going.
And now, I drive a minivan around at sunset,
and it doesn’t matter how fast that v6 pretends to go on the river road,
or if I’m still taking drags off occasional cigarettes,
or if the music sounds like Oasis, as if it is still 1996,
there is nothing cool about wandering in a Toyota Sienna.
And if this was only about being young again,
I would just drive into town, and get some version,
of a modern haircut,
put my ass on the treadmill,
and pretend like I could roll with the biddies.
And it isn’t like I want anyone to bring me
home, to some version, of what they think that will be,
because I grow my own home out of my own heart,
and furnish it exclusively with my own dreams.
See, it’s not lost that I am,
but finding. And soon enough,
all this driving, will lead me down the right road.