My twice weekly commute to my real job is hardly cause for bells and whistles, nor looked onto with much anticipation. I find driving itself to be mundane, boring, useless really. Well, it's not useless, it gets you from point A to point B. I remember as a child thinking it would be great to teleport yourself instantaneously from one place to another. I also held the notion that when I was 40 (which I am) we would be flying around in rocketships. The mind of a child, eh?
So I drive. Left turn signal on. Blink. Blink. Blink. Pass this enormous tractor trailer that is causing my van to shake and shiver uncontrollably in it's backdraft. Right turn signal. Blink. Blink. Blink. Back to cruise control at 70, hands at ten and two. Blurred images of green whizzing by my windows, unseen, unnoticed, intent only on my destination.
Blink, blink, blink. Off the interstate and onto the long winding country road littered with homemade signs telling us to "repent and sin no more" and letting us know that "Jesus is lord". Farther down the road are crude signs made of rotted wood offering up home-cooking and fresh sweet corn for our taste buds. Tall white steeples attached to formal churches and not so formal churches, converted buildings offering us the chance to speak, hear and feel God nearly every mile or so. Lawn ornaments, old and new, flocks of squirrels, flamingo's and rabbits standing lifelessly in an overgrown yard. The pigs peering through the thick metal fence at the pile of rotting apples, surrounded by a swarm of gnats. Longing, waiting for their owners to come and throw a few over the fence for them to devour. Toppled lawn chair watching upside down for the "one that got away" out over an old wooden pier. I laugh every time I pass the dilapidated trailers in a make-shift lot with a sign that reads "we sell only quality homes".
I watch as a small wren flies near straight at my windshield, only to turn suddently, showing me the gentle arc of it's wings and flutters off. Look left, to a rusted swing set sitting among weeds. It's still smiling plastic horse askew on a broken chain, a violent crack near it's neck, clearly the cause of it's death. Forgotten by a child who has outgrown it's pleasure or moved onto a more complicated toy.
Main street, quiet and sweltering in the late afternoon sun. Devoid of people, noise and cars. Families tucked into their quaint homes being cooled by giant metal boxes outside their home. Instant relief from this unrelenting heat. Stark metal robots blink their red eyes high above the train tracks in town. A stark contrast to the green fields below. Rows and rows of corn, soy and peanuts stood quard over by strong silent white planks, saved from the desolate heat by the barely noticable metal mother that feeds them cool streams of water, spraying a gentle mist through the air and sucked up anxiously by this dry hard clay.
This is my drive.