Discover more from Love Letter Day X
I love driving.
I get emotional when I drive alone. I talk to myself. It ends in tears. It ends in climax. On long drives, I will experience a dream’s worth of emotions. Not always, but not never.
On my short drive home from work tonight, where I witnessed great art being performed by Arien Wilkerson—which my computer keeps auto-correcting to “alien” (which I think is sort of racist if I’m being honest)…On this drive home tonight, I felt a chaotic shame spiral take over my thoughts. As I took laps around my neighborhood looking for parking, I pieced together what was actually bothering me and calmed down, but not before shedding a tear.
I have a good friend who complains a lot while driving. Like, it’s a really specific tone of anger that comes to life when he drives, like he’s narrating everything he perceives and colors it with rage. One day, we were on a long drive together.
What the fuck is this guy doing tailgating my fucking car? Trucks…I swear to god why are people driving these gigantic fucking trucks? Anyway I don’t know if my brother is getting better about this stuff but I can’t be around it anymore. Another speed trap!
After two hours of this, I asked if he’d ever thought of working in politics. It is so rare to meet someone who can sustain an argument for so long without getting winded or defeated. Someone who can argue in this way for this long, really needs to take his fight to a higher plane of change than the highway!
I do not know why I was surprised, then, when he said “yeah, actually, I have thought about working in politics.”
Where should I put my car-triggered persona to use?
I used to love joyriding my dad’s black sedan as a young teenager. I think it was a Lexus G-something. I could not help myself. The intense desire to take out the car was overwhelming. I’d turn the ignition with the slightest of key turns, thinking this was what determined the volume of starter-mechanics. Then I’d reverse out from the garage and coast down the sloped driveway in completely dark silence, gently accelerate uphill once I'd gotten onto the road, and roll down the windows when I turned fully out of view of the house in my rear view mirror. I would not go far. The edge of town, maybe, and then turn right back. I wouldn't stop anywhere, and I never met anyone. I drove at night, alone, and returned in the same conditions I left.
One night, I returned to find my dad at the threshold of the interior garage door to the house. As I parked the car, I was surprised to feel my pulse did not change. I just thought, I better park it real good since he’s watching. I realized as I creeped in on the edge of the parking spot that my sister was behind my dad, sobbing. We knew what would happen next, and it did.
I wish there were a more environmentally sound way to get the sensation of driving to the point of personal exhortation, to the point of tears, but perhaps slowly moving a vehicle to the sound of my own voice is the best I can do.