I love to drive. I love the feel of a car around me as I drive. I love to go and find roads that just call for no other cars to be on it, so you can be alone with that stretch of road. That long, sexy slink of black tarmac, like a ribbon weaving it's way to nowhere- and ANYWHERE! Whether you know what is at the end of it or not, the world is a blank slate. It is yours.
There is this road that runs behind NASA Johnson Space Center where I used to work. I no longer remember the name of it. Space Center Blvd. maybe? It was quiet and twisty, absolutely barren- no buildings, save the back fence of NASA- and it had maybe 2 traffic lights on it which were almost always green because the cross roads were not very populated. I would sometimes go out of my way on my way home or on my way to get food or something just to drive on this road. We're talking 15-30 minutes sometimes out of the way. Then other nights, I would just go drive on it for no reason- nowhere to go to at the other end, I would just drive it. Alone, the windows down, hair blowing in the wind, the music blaring. (Usually, Hotel California, for some reason...) It wasn't actually very long, maybe 2-4 minutes from end to end, which was always a sore point for me. I must also confess, sometimes I would drive back to the other end just so I could do it again...
Now that I live out here in Canyon Country, I have streets all over like that road. Only longer, some with a few more lights, but equally beautiful. Long stretches of tarmac, asphalt- just me and the road. And rather than the driving pumping me up- which it can, if I am in the mood and playing the right music- it CALMS ME! I feel so at peace, wind in my hair, cool air whipping through the car, everything! An old friend of mine used to love to tell the story about how when she was a baby and got fussy at night, her parents would strap her into her car seat and they would take her driving. She would konk right out. I understand that now. Driving soothes a savage part of me that was so pent up and frustrated while I was at CalArts, without a car of my own. FOUR YEARS without a vehicle that I could just drive in!
One of my favorite roads here in LA, though it is clogged with tourists and houses and awkward intersections, is Mulholland Drive. (More than a couple of my friends can attest to this, since I have dragged them on it!) I love how twisty that road is! A close second is a little piece of Sepulveda I found while lost, looking for Mulholland. Just before my internship started this summer, my friend up in Santa Clara took me on a road called Page Mill Road in her Subaru WRX! I swear, the only way I could have been happier is if I were driving! haha It was so awesome!
I can't be the only one who does this! I need to hear from at least one other person that this thing is sort of normal.
Wanna go driving sometime?