Sliding down highway Five through the middle of California, I was granted a little time to consider all of my options. Not that I was up for any change. Change is bad and scary, or at the very least messy. I was thinking about the twists and turns that my life had taken bringing me to this long, straight strip of asphalt. I was reminded of the long, straight strip of asphalt that connected me and my freshman dorm to my hometown. A straight line north and south, with the slight bend up near the top to keep me from rolling on into Wyoming. That was a trip that I took weekly for nine months, preferring the relative safety of the place I left behind to the place where I was going. So much so that when my sophomore year rolled around, I gathered up my things and set about learning all my college stuff in a school just down the street from where I was born.
By thirty, I had strayed only the slightest bit. A trip to Key West with some friends had made me believe that it was possible to leave Colorado and return, much in the way road trips that had connected me with Arizona and Oklahoma. It made me think about the time I spent in the back of a station wagon, barreling along as my father drove us to exotic locations like Chilicothe, Ohio and Niagara Falls. My dad was perhaps as mired in Boulder as anyone, having landed there when he was just a lad himself. That long stretch of highway called I-70 that would connect the east with the west in case nuclear weapons from here to there was just a plan.
Which is another tangent from that straight line.
That line that takes me north and south, the one I drove with the girl who would become my wife. The highway that we drove together as we started to imagine making a life together. Which is what we did. And all that time we made trips up and down the state, eventually including a car seat for our son in the back. For a few trips our son drove us. Then we started coordinating cars and where we would meet up. Driving those long less than winding roads all this time has made it easier to move up and down, north and south. The miles that we travel are the miles that we chat and catch up on all the time that we have not been able to find the time to sit down and talk. About the old times. About the things we still want to do.