I got up at 5 am today to drive back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. I rolled out of bed and, sans makeup, dragged my bags into the car and took off in the dark of early morning.
I don’t usually drive the LA to Vegas route. I’m a once a month Southwest weekend flyer. But there is something so appealing about driving at 4 or 5 am in the morning. I get to drive with the truckers and see the sun come up. I listen to Howard Stern and the drive goes fast. I’ve listened to the shock jock for years, ever since I introduced my sons to him on the morning school drive. It was one of the ways we bonded. Anyway, I think the guy is pretty smart and very funny. Not the smut part, but his “take”on the human condition is fascinating.
Along the way on this single drive, my mind flips back and forth between missing my family, especially those adorable grandsons, that I just left and missing David, my long ago significant other. I usually have a good cry, one of those missing cries, and it actually doesn’t make me feel any better. It just makes me miss more.
Along the way, I saw that my new man friend had called me an hour after take off. I had told him we needed the clarity of space until he returned to his home in Montreal. But he didn’t exactly adhere to our plan and I was secretly happy. It was sweet of him to call after me. I didn’t mind because it felt good to be watched over by someone, to be cared for from afar.
I just read an article about loneliness. Loneliness can be a by-product of depression but not always. I am not usually lonely. I like my own company. But sometimes I bounce off a few walls, especially when it comes to waking up in the morning and I would really like a man’s arms around me. Of course, the feeling passes and I get out of bed, make my espresso and get on with my day.
I get that feeling when I drive alone sometimes. The wide, flat expanse of the desert, the sun rising in faded orange and yellow colors reminds me of how small we are in the universe, how this journey is transitory, our lives merely borrowed for a time, and how important it is to honor the present.
Sometimes driving is good for the soul.