The Short Version:
It is a marvel, how many people we are in one single life
The Long Version:
Riders on the storm, Into this house we’re born, Into this world we’re thrown
I’m riding down the highway at 65 miles per hour in a car that’s 25 years old with miles stacked behind it like birds on a telephone wire. Windows down, the spring air fills the car with a headiness, a feeling of freedom I know to be fleeting. I take a breath and turn the radio up, the song changes.
Someone told me there’s a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair
Remember the times I had love in my eyes and flowers in my hair? The years have sped along, ticking by, mile markers in the rear view mirror. I dodge a dead deer in the right lane, pull over into the passing lane. I’ve got the car up to 70 but I know it can’t maintain this speed, so I quickly get back into the slower groove.
I’m your dream, make you real, I’m your eyes when you must steal, I’m your pain when you can’t feel
No, I can’t listen to this song, it’s too dark for me right now. I shut the radio down and turn to my music downloaded on my phone. Damn it! I just passed my exit. I drive on to the next one.
The trees are almost able to be called lush now, everything alive and thrumming. I’m passed by a band of motorcycles and I envy their rides. Years ago, I rode with friends when I was young and new and thin and beautiful and also, self-absorbed and insensitive; my youth raking everything in its wake. I marvel at how many people we are in one single life. How many roads taken, abandoned, lost and found.
Smiling at strangers reminds me of my dog (Better let them know you’re friendly), The way people dress reminds me too, Pissing on their favorite tree, Sad things remind me of my dog
I look behind me at my dog in her bed. She looks at me with total trust. I have love in my eyes and I laugh at myself and my thoughts as I drive a good 5 miles out of my way because of my perpetual distraction. I remember teaching my kids to be aware of other drivers on the road. “So few people are aware of their surroundings”, I had counseled them. Here, my exit. Someone pulls out in front of me in order to make the next right at the light after the off-ramp. I slow down, let it happen without incident. Today, is a good day to stay alive.
Riders on the Storm, written by Jim Morrison, performed and released by The Doors, 1971
Going to California, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, performed and released by Led Zeppelin, 1971
Sad but True, written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, performed and released (in album) by Metallica, 1991
Everything Reminds Me Of My Dog by Jane Siberry, written, performed and released, 1989