are not in search of fulfillment, although the Travel Channel would
have you believe they are. You are supposed to feel the romance of
tourism from your comfortable armchair. Maybe you won’t be leaving the
chair tonight but I will be squinting at the headlights, lost in the
backwaters of a town that could be all towns at 1:00am: steam from
the grates, a raincoat in the shadows, the blinking warnings that
caution me to slow down for utility workers who are home in their beds,
the empty taxis and buses, the steel gated storefronts, the odor of
piss and vagrancy, the siren of a speeding police car- while the huge crustacean of
civilization lies asleep deep within its shell. It all says no to
travel as a means of storing up my stories. But when I'm traveling
there is no future or past, only the present. The hours in a motel room
are lost to the doldrums. Chunks of time vanish mysteriously as I write
down my thoughts. The phone is unplugged. The tv is a continuous blue
and red monologue of talking heads muted by my remote control. I own to
a restlessness that’s echoed by the sound of someone pacing in the room
above me like a prisoner in a cell waiting for parole. After so many
years on it, I realize that the road has been following me, not leading
me. I look over my shoulder more often than I stare ahead. Is it
gaining on me or is that an illusion?
long as humans have migrated we have clung to the false notion that the
search for Place is like physical hunger- somewhere it will be
satisfied. That hasn’t been my experience. Believe what you want, I
more or less live in transit. The palliative for these travel pangs is
nowhere to be found.
life is in motion when you are at home in your routines, among your
loved ones and your collections of special junk. In many ways, life
stands still when you travel. All too soon you become detached like a
whirring mechanism whose teeth have been sheared off. You move because
nothing impedes your momentum.
the sky hangs above me like a tight fist pounding out angry sparks for
stars. I know it’s irrational. I know I’m on a fool’s errand. But try
as I might, I can’t stop hoping to find it out here, whatever it is.