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August 24, 2010

23 feet: Real life on road-time

Open space, good music, and a different view

Life moves quickly when you’re on the road. Once you get the hang of it, it’s as if a great pair of invisible wings has spread behind your back, lifting the heart, easing your stumbles. It’s exciting. You begin to live on “road-time.”

Road-time is sped up and slowed down all at once and bleeds color and sound and runs down your face like lake water. Connections made on road-time are brief and burning stars, marked by breathless conversation, prone to confessions.  Road-time deftly spins “be” into “go.”

Real-time is lines at the bank and mailing in your electricity bill and building relationships that last more than three days.

Surely it is this lusty road-time that keeps some travelers traveling, this lack of middle-ground, the escape of the predictable everyday situations that present themselves in stationary living.

Of course, travelers may miss their homes, their cocoons of love and familiarity and predictability. I was reminded of this recently, when I traveled back through Durango, CO, to pick up some left-behind pieces of my life.  I pulled into my old home, where I know street names and bartenders and the best way to bike across town, but the season had changed and the air felt new, and I didn’t live there anymore.

I spent my whole visit acutely aware of this fact, bogged down by impending homesickness and the lurking second-time-around goodbye I’d soon say. Getting in my car on the last day was painful, and the drive out of town was tortuous. But it was only a matter of miles until  I felt better. Road-time.

That’s the seductive thing about road-time – even the darkest of funks are eased by open space, good music and a different view.

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