Road trips always relaxed me. The sight of the road disappearing under the car, the long stretch ahead. Towns, villages flashing by like mini movies with an unwritten script, trees, meadows, factories, truck rest-stops. People in other cars, I wonder where they’re going, sometimes you see a bike roped to the truck left ajar, kids fighting in the back seat, maybe they’re on their way to their grandparents.
Us, we’re just driving to clear our heads, to be together alone. In the beginning we make small talk, how are you, how’s your partner, your mom, your dog, work and kids. Then we sit in silence, it’s deafening at first, like a forgotten noise, it grows louder and louder until it suddenly disappears, becomes a comfortable silence, and we’re ready. The CD player smoothly swallows our old disc, the playlist starts playing, one of us turns up the volume, we roll down our the windows, and we begin to sing. Each has her favorite song, her favorite lyrics, sometimes we’re not sure what they are, so we improvise. I scream loudest to “Chasing Cars,” my friend to “Crash into Me,” and the other to “Wisemen.”
We reach our destination with hair dos of bad 1980s punk rockers or three women that have stuck wet fingers in sockets, but our cheeks are rosy, we’re high on the abundant countryside oxygen and singing has worked it marvel of stress release.
We used to take these road trips whenever we wanted, never really appreciating them because it’s hard to appreciate what you easily have. Now they happen once or twice a year, and feel like the most precious gift anyone has ever given us. Simple. Real. Free.