"song of the opened road"
(photo from wallpaperswide.com)
It's mid-May, the leading edge of summer, and the air perfume this four-wheel Buick, extra-wide rocket ship is passing through, on its yearly trip across a Momma-land that separates one ocean from another, is different. More subtle and less pungent, now, than it gets by mid-July, when the summer roadside grasses dry and brown like oil and onions heated on the surface of a landscape pan.
The May-grass now that lines the web of blue-red-black Rand McNally highways on the dry crust of the continent, is still chloroplastic green. Like you, sweet h-sapes student-reader, no matter what your near-term bio age might be. Because in long-term time this writing-reading thing is hanging off the very edge of an evolution trek that's left your Grandy-Momma-Daddy so way back in the dust they really can't be seen, as they wave their bye-byes and wish the changing genome well.
GRANDY-MOMMA-DADDY: (waving) Drive safe. Remember to write. Something. Anything. Just-keep-do-ing-it. It's why you're here, hands solo, keeping record of the human score.
So you write. Like now, parked near Tom's Drugs in a small, college town in the farmlands of Ohio, while picking up a Wifi link that connects you to Nic Harcourt's morning show at Cal State Northridge, as you write this line while listening to Pink Floyd's 1979 song "Hey You."
So, hey you, reader on a world-wide-web that's like the highway web that connects the everything to everything of North America, both in the present and the past. Except this web, with electron arms draped loose around a planet, is a rocket ship that's traveling so much faster than the Buick, as linking everything to everything explodes into a larger, 3D universe of space and time.
It's like the ancient riddle: "What came first -- the idea of a human looking for a tool, or a tool that became an idea-mirror of human looking?"
"'Riddle' -- sounds like 'fiddle,' also 'diddle,'" Felicity likes to say, rye-smiling. She has a sympathetic view of our human capability for fucking off.
As I write that line she's exiting Tom's Drugs, where we stopped for a certain "feminine hygiene product" that looks a lot like the structural system for a rocket, minus the fins and nose cone, but with the bottom line that keeps the rocket's base securely anchored to the launchpad.
Fel's smiling because she's having fun as we navigate the landscape of America in my granddad's old, '96 Buick Roadmaster station wagon, the back now full of the shit two young people carry with them as they nomad-travel across a place still relatively new. Like us, and you, new in geo terms, and non-tribal civil terms, and bio-evolution terms. Where new and old aren't adversarial, just time- and placemarks on one long, life-form's pathway through continuum, as something really new existing at the edge of something really old.
As we continue going west, two newbie h-sapes on a road that's more about a story that is us, than a highway made of asphalt.
20150520 10:31 (549 words)
- "Thumbelina" by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, from "Learning to Crawl" 1984, performed live 1995
- "Falling From the Sky" by Joey and John Burns of Calexico, from "Edge of the Sun" 2015, performed in studio 2015