There are numerous topics that crisscross my mind, and I think sometimes of writing down my thoughts on a particularly captivating topic, or regaling my friends with deft intellectual discussion. Yet as I drove to my office today, it was the drive itself that occupied my mind.
At over 30 miles, I have a rather lengthy commute. On a good day, I can make it one way in about 45 minutes. On a Friday in the summer, when I’m bumper to bumper with everyone and their mother heading into the mountains for the weekend, that time can easily reach up to an hour or more. And, of course. since what goes down the mountain must inevitably go back up, that duration is doubled. So I have a lot of time to myself. Not the walking through the forest alone time I enjoy, but rather a sort of compulsory isolation determined by my need to reach my downtown office. Granted, I spend the majority of my day alone at my office – but I feel more captive during that time in my car.
Most of the time I have my music up loud, rocking out to my Spotify playlist entitled “Groovy Tunes” – an homage to my old cassette mix tape with “Joe’s Groovy Tunes” scrawled across the white Memorex cardboard insert. On rarer occasion I will listen to an audiobook, although I usually have to jump back multiple times as my mind is prone to wander. When the weather is bad and the highway coated with a mixture of packed snow and ice, a large portion of my attention is reserved to keeping the vehicle on the road. But even so, whether it be music or audiobooks or inclement weather, the preeminence of uninvited thought persists,
As I stated in my opening, I ponder a great many things. Marriage. Family. Work. Bipolar disorder. Morality. Ethics. Spirituality. Politics. Social justice. Hiking. Climbing. Camping. Camping gear. Shoes. Photography. Cameras. Chickens. COVID. Jokes. Death. Life. Life after death. Friendships. Lack of friendships. People who I need to call. Bills. Money. Homelessness. Minimalism. Travel. Memories of places I’ve been. The past. The future. Therapy. Counseling. Medicine. Music. Social media. What he wrote. What she said. A million imaginary conversations. Etcetera and so forth. That drive. It is a mandatory foray not just to my office, but into the loudness of my interminable thought. It is inescapable, and oh, how many times have I desired liberation from these storms that brew between my (rather large) ears.
It is a platform, much like this blog, I suppose. But while this platform serves as an outlet for the controlled dissemination of those thoughts I choose to share, my car contains a tempest which twists and swirls around itself, even with the windows down and stereo pumpin’, Maybe great revelations have come to me during the drive. I don’t recall. Inspiration is as sure to come in the car as the shower, although I find that latter more enjoyable. I don’t feel trapped with my thoughts in the shower. I can turn the water off and step into the day. Stepping out of the vehicle at 60 miles per hour might be considered a desperate act.
That drive. The one in which I spurt out carbon pollution and mental flatulence. Well. Perhaps it will provide fodder for this little corner of the internet of mine. Until then – safe travels.