Today, there is a red undercurrent of motion, flowing around me at my stagnant desk. It’s the Road, and it’s here to remind me that it’s time for us to meet. Soon. I’ll be heading to Burning Man, Black Rock City, 1800 miles across the bosom of the smiling West. The West is my home, the whole big chunk of it, and I always feel as if its arms are open to me no matter where I go. When I was a kid we’d migrate farther north when it got hot, sometimes, looking for rain in Oregon or just another empty space in Nevada where it was easier to live without air conditioning. But we usually stayed West, away from the strange stilted expressions of people in the East, away from crowded cities or the endless flat plains of the Midwest.
I grew up like children on farms in the 40s or 50s, according to one friend from Iowa. No lights, just oil lamps, no phone- if a boy asked for my number, which never happened, I had none to give. We dug holes and crapped in the desert, or the woods. Sometimes we took showers at truck stops. I read books all the time instead of watching TV.
I never spend time explaining this because I am tired of the incredulity on people’s faces, or it will just take too long to talk about. I don’t think I’d live like that again, but it made my life one of consistent motion. Even when it slows down, it is always moving, always changing, always looking around the next curve ahead. I can’t wait to get on the Road.