/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
I have a hard time sitting still – I talk with my hands, I move around waiting for the train, I move my body if there’s even a semblance of music present while I’m waiting in line somewhere or doing some mundane task. My spiritual practice asks me to pray and meditate daily; I often can handle the talking – the praying aspect, but the meditation – the sitting and listening, has eluded me for years.
There’s something powerful about sitting still that scares me. It’s been said that people like me are “restless, irritable and discontented” by our very nature, and I can’t think of three words that I relate more to when I find myself at home, yearning for something to do when I have 30 things already lined up on my to-do list. When I find myself awake at 2:34 in the morning, desperately wishing I had a car, so I could take myself for a drive.
I’ve written many times about driving, but I can’t talk about it enough, because I still haven’t figured out the principle of the matter. Talking things through is how I make sense of them, and I don’t know what to make of this. There’s something about driving that soothes me. I’ve heard that people have been driving around inconsolable babies for years, and there’s something about a late-night drive and some music that tends to wind me down, take the part of me that can’t quite let go of the anger and the sadness and the shame and the guilt and all of the subconscious unknowable emotions I carry around with me all day, every day and just lets them go into the dark, onto the road, out of my throat into a sad song.
I want to be driving tonight. Winter’s here, so I know I could count on a clear, sharp night with no traffic. Lake Shore Drive would be empty and the city lights would ring out crisp and true. Michigan Avenue would be lit up with Christmas festivities, but the streets would be barren and the reds and greens would flash in synchronized time to some unknown code. Centro-matic’s “Supercar” would be languishing in the background, providing a sultry, slow, sad soundtrack to my solo trek around the city, giving myself the best tourist views.
On to the expressway I’d go, seeing how fast I could drive before I felt I was being reckless or in danger of procuring a ticket. There’s been many a night I’ve driven down and around and back the city in loop after loop, just trying to tire some part of my soul out. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but eventually there’s a part of me that gives up to this external motion and lets the internal motion give over to it; lets me just put it all to rest. I think I would take many more drives like this one if I had my own car.
I don’t know if I’d feel less inclined to be called into the night if I had someone to lay next to at day’s end. I don’t know if it would help. I suspect to a large degree it would. But there’s a small part of me that knows there’s something in me that can’t be touched by someone else. That’s the part of me that seems eternally lonely – I don’t know if that’s just a part of me that will forever remain that way, or a part of me that is just constantly yearning for some sort of contact with the universe, with some sort of higher power. That’s the part of me that can never quite seem to communicate with people just exactly how I feel, what I need, what I want. It’s the part of me that is becoming terrified that I’m just going to be expected to live with this low-level distance between me and everyone else. I think that will change. I guess I have hope it will. Okay. Tired. Shouldn’t be up anymore.
Centro-matic’s “Cool That You Showed Us How” always sounds like a lullaby anyway. Goodnight.