On the Road

Starting from the beginning is so boring. So right now, I'm sitting typing into a computer that I probably paid too much for and just thinking about other times. Yeah, those other times. Driving down the highway, listening to the tunes in the tape deck, and just thinking everything was alright. this isn't the beginning.

And everything was alright. Nothing much can be going wrong while you're driving down the road listening to your favorite tapes, going 90 with no cops around, just black flat highway out in front of that glass picture window in front of you. But there's always that stop you make where things can go wrong. It's those times - those times - that you can go wrong.

But that's what life is all about, ain't it? I mean, if nothing goes wrong and you keep driving down the road listening to your favorite tunes, it's boring. Just like if I started telling you about me from the point I was born or the point I first remember. I know more now than then. And if I tried to tell you about then, I probably wouldn't get half of the shit I have to say right.

The beginning was a real long time ago. And that part, up until I first got laid or smoked my first joint, is rather boring. So here I am. I've got a girlfriend, just like every other guy in the world. And just like every other guy in the world, I'm unhappy about it unless we're apart because then I don't think about all the faults I think I see in her.

Hell, it's not her fault. Mostly it's just the combination of beer, smoke, and hormones that gets you looking around. Sex is there for the people who want it and the people who want it don't refuse it too often.

But this isn't all about sex. You can go see Dr. Ruth about that. I was driving along the highway listening to one of my favorite tapes. Yeah, it was blasting as I blasted down that sexy black highway. And then I started thinking. that's the worst thing you can do is start thinking.

And the worst thing to think is where you are going. But right then, that's what I thought. It just popped into my mind surprising me like a mirror falling off the wall and shattering into a million pieces. And all I could think of is I Don't Know. I almost slammed on the brakes right there. Ha, that would have shocked the guy who was tailgating me.

But I kept driving down the road until I found an exit for me to stop and got out of the car. Standing there, I looked around and realized something. And epiphany, if you will. I have to always be going somewhere. Everyone's got to be going somewhere. If you aren't you'll just stand there and end up in some trailer park with a gun in your mouth wondering where your life went. Then BANG! That'll be it, you won't have to wonder anymore, but you still didn't go anywhere (if you don't count your skull at 500 miles per hour).

But me, I trapped myself. I work at a bank. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I work at this big corporate bank and the fucked up thing is that I like it. But that's only part of me. I'm always pulling at my skin from the inside trying to get out because there's that second person in me.

Don't look at me funny, or else I'll have to lay you out. I'm not schitzophrentic, buy hey, I've got two side. Everyone's always looking for something better and that's their second side. So realize it and move on.

I went to college. Yeah, I'm not stupid. Hell, I work for a corporate bank. But I'm telling you, if you're a stickler for beginnings, you can say my start was the year before college. Let me tell you, though, college is just a place where you learn what you want and it's designed for fucking and drinking. Some bum on the street can end up being the smartest person in the world but do you think they ever went to college? So start out knowing that some degree means jack shit to me.

The way I pull at my skin, it feels like there's a cat inside of me, ripping around the inside, and I'm trying to rip me skin to let it out, but it never happens. So I come here and try to tell you what it's all about, but I know that isn't possible. It's not possible because even if I could tell you, you wouldn't listen. You'll put it aside as a story you read and then forget about it. Maybe you'll pick it up again because you're bored and have a long trip coming up, but people are either too smart or not smart enough to listen to someone who tells them something about their life.

So I'm in Manhattan. I didn't really want to be there. There was this big storm, the biggest Storm of the Century they say. Well, it knocked out any possible way for me to get home. So, I'm in Manhattan at a party, wondering what's going on at my home that's being attacked by this Storm of the Century. So I'm drinking to try to forget while my girl, Cassandra sits there annoyed that I'm not having a good time. That's Cassandra with an accent on the second 'a', so it sounds like an 'on', not an 'an.'

So again, I start thinking. That's always where it starts - thinking. I told you that already, but you probably weren't paying attention. So I start thinking why am I there. That's when the trouble starts. There's people in the bathroom doing coke and I'm sitting there worried if I'll sleep with some chick from college and piss off Cassandra.

And it started because I didn't want to be there at that moment in time. Another time, yeah, I would have wanted to be there, but right then, I wanted to be looking out from my house onto the beach out into the sea.

You gotta think, the world is a pretty big place and if you don't want to be somewhere, you have lots of choices of places to go. But that's not the way it is. Yeah, you can act all carefree and say you can do anything, but you always got to give something up and if you don't like giving things up, forget it. I'm not talking about normal things. I don't care if I loose my cash in a bad poker game or on some crummy beer I never tried. But what about your personality. Will you give up your personality or whatever makes you you, or your best friend because you want to go see some beach or the Eiffle Tower?

I you would, then you're pretty dumb because if you give up yourself, it doesn't matter if you saw that beach or the tower. There won't be anyone there that you recognize to appreciate the thing.

And so you keep on going. Yeah, that's all you can do. But you know you always look back. You can't help it. Like that bitch who got turned to salt in the Bible. You always look back. Yeah, and I keep looking back.

We all have done something wrong. We all fucked up once in awhile. Yeah, like you never did. Wake up. Wake up, I said. Why do you think shit goes wrong when you're not driving down the road?

You screwed up, yeah. Yeah, that's it. And it usually leaves you alone. And when you're alone you don't know what to do. I didn't know what to do. I've only been alone once in my life. And to this day, when I think about that time, I still feel alone. I may have everything I need today, but I've had everything before and lost it. In Pittsburgh. In New York. In Paris.

Life, what a concept. We don't know what life is until it's passed us by. It's that time you're sitting stoned with your friends in some room, laid out on some couch and you think, "Hell, I could be reading some Keats right now." But you never read Keats, and you don't even know what he wrote. That's right. Once its over, you know how you could have actually enjoyed it, except now it's too fucking late.

So what was it you were thinking? Can you tell me? I can't. Hell, why are you looking at me? Do you really think I know something you don't know already? If you do, you're still lost thinking when this thing is going to start with some beginning.

And you know when you've really fucked up? Damn, that's when you drown yourself in drugs and alcohol and just stay off the road. Yeah, I fucked up. But then I stayed on the road. And that's dangerous, cause you're gonna get hit. But you know, I wanted to get hit, just get taken down as fast as possible. But that was a few months after I fucked up and man, was I down.

But I moved on. Remember that girl I told you about? Well, we broke up. That's one good thing in my life. Why? Man, when you just go get some girl to hang out with just to keep from being lonely, that's when some problems start. I mean, it's great for a while until you realize that's not where you want to be. Remember the Storm? That's when I knew that's not where I wanted to be.

Now, I just don't know. Ain't that the most common phrase you hear today? I don't know. But hell, man, how could you know with all of this crazy world going down the tubes? But me, actually, I've started to get on top of it all. Just a little pull and push along the way, and I've been heading out ok.

Last week, I went out on the road. I took a drive to Pittsburgh. Now, that's four hundred miles away, you know. So I went driving, mostly just to get away for a little while. But I actually was running to something, not away for once. That something I left a while back and I knew I wanted it back. Does it really matter what it was? I don't think it does.

All that matters is that I knew I made a mistake and I left it. It's all a matter of how.

And that's the main point. You're always going somewhere. But every so often, when you're lost or down without anywhere to go, or just hanging out not know which road to take, there's that one thing that can get you back on track. Yeah, it'll get you back on track because it's something that you left that you didn't want to or you shouldn't have. You're not going to the past, you know. This is something that you need to take you into the present and beyond.

That's life on the road.

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