Driving Home

The question has been asked a dozen times if not more: what the hell are you doing? The question has been answered the same way: I have no idea. It keeps things interesting, entertaining, and, for lack of a better phrase, in motion.

I’m hearing it from around the country now. Depression and uncertainty. I had a chat with a psychiatrist and a psychologist. The lockdown, isolation, cut off from what we know as normal: it’s trauma. It’s just not like the normal trauma we suffer, the quick hit, the lightning strike that can release the powerful chemicals in our brain that can help protect us and get past it. This is a long, drawn out trauma. How are we supposed to react to this?

I was already there. The depression and uncertainty weighed upon me long before Covid it.

“Imagine myself in an automobile
A hundred miles an hour, only me at the wheel
I want it to shine, to be only mine
The engine has to be just one of a kind.”

Driving down that long straight road open highway, close to 100, with Kaleo playing. Fitting really. On my way to Nashville, where they call home now, a long, long way from their native Iceland.

“I guess I could make room for one, a bottle of rum
You and me together riding into the sun
Live without care, with the wind in my hair
I’m driving through the desert, yeah I’ll go anywhere

Take me where the wheels take me, far away
Wheels take me, I can’t stay
Wheels take me, any place today…”

A restlessness put to rest. For a while I imagine. Speeding from town to city to suburb. Looking for home? Home is where you hang your hat, and my hat is on my head.

No Good, Way Down We Go, Broken Bones, Glass House, Hot Blood, then slowing it down for All the Pretty Girls for those twisting switchbacks. Tickling at something in the back of my head. Something tries to push itself forward.

“So won’t you lay me, won’t you lay me down
Won’t you lay me, won’t you lay me down
Won’t you lay me, won’t you lay me down
You lay me, won’t you lay me down

All alone, alone again
No one lends a helping hand
I have waited, I have waited
Takes it’s toll, my foolish pride
How long before I see the light
I have waited, I have waited
For you to lay me down”

Hold Me Down by X Ambassadors? No, no: Kaleo is playing…

“Sail on by, sail on by for now
They play naked in the water
You know it’s hard, heaven knows I’ve tried
But it just keeps getting harder…”

Out of the switchback with open highway again, pressing down on the accelerator. The engine isn’t one of a kind but it will do. It will do. Automobile, then the Icelandic Vor i Vaglaskkogi, but then another switchback, slowing down for Save Yourself.

“Tell your secrets to the night
You do yours and I do mine
So we won’t have to keep them all inside
Oh, for one so pure
Count these off
Let your feelings take control
Hold on to the world that he’s begging for

Woah now
Save yourself
Oh won’t you save yourself
Go on and save yourself for someone else
Yes darling save yourself
Oh won’t you save yourself
Go on and save yourself for someone else

Are you going to break?”

But there is Nashville in the distance. A city rising from the road and the mountains. Through a timezone and across a river and then coming to rest somewhere. Experimenting. Three nights instead of two. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. Finishing the album with “I Can’t Go On Without You.”

I can’t go on without me, so I’m driving, looking for myself, staying in motion to not allow the depressive hibernation to catch me up again. I’m feeling good. There’s a purpose. All the pictures, sharing, maybe striking through other’s hibernation to give them glimpses into a world beyond the trauma.

So I’m driving home, without a home. Experiencing, living, questing, sipping coffee. With the exhaustion lifting. Damn but was I tired. Old, ancient. I know what I am good at and what I am bad at it. I’m good at reacting, awful at acting. Something is missing. Always has been, and the reacting exhausted me. The only thing to react to now is the mile markers.

Yeah, I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. But Memphis awaits, home of the blues. A swing through Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama back to where I was before I push further outward.
As I wrote somewhere or another: any outward, solo journey necessitate and intimate inward journey.

Covid held up the release of Kaleo’s sophomore album. What the hell have they been doing for the last three years, besides touring and opening for the Rolling Stones? I’m looking forward to what comes next.

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