I took a deep breath and the smell of coming rain filled my lungs. My little Ford Escort was pointed west. I was so thrilled that I could fit everything I owned into the backseat. I was headed to
I drove out past the spacious farms and empty space and began to climb into the mountains. Driving those twisting turns and the exaggerated ups and downs, I felt there had to be something special on the other side. I noticed the sweet smell of the mountain air; it was the cold air you could taste from your mouth to the bottom of your stomach.
I wanted to feel this air on my skin. I stopped in a small
I started out on my way down the mountain. Things started getting flatter and I was racing towards the vastness of the
I decided I’d had enough driving. I was going to check out downtown. I found a quiet street to park on and walked until I found a bar. It had a neon tiger in the front window. I ordered a pitcher and some potato skins from the bartender. There was a basketball game on the television and I lost my feel for time for a bit. I don’t recall anything extraordinary about the inside of the bar. It looked like any other sports bar in any other city, filled with local team posters and dartboards and pool tables. Booths were filled with all sorts of men drinking and laughing. I felt lonely for the first time on this trip. I was feeling drunk and tired. The road had worn me thin and the beer was about to knock me out.
I fell into the passenger seat of my car and tried to lay it back as far as I could. With a back seat filled with everything I owned, I couldn’t move it much. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and fell asleep fast and hard.
I woke soaked with sweat. It took me a moment to find my memory. It was only three hours later. I didn’t know where I was or why I was there. It was startling enough to send me back behind the wheel. I headed northwest through
My head was buzzing. The tiredness was putting up a good fight, but there was no way I was giving in. I was pointed north; towards