When I was younger, before I was your Aunt Becky and before I had a Ben, an Alex or even a Daver, and especially before gas cost the equivalent of a mortgage payment I used to unwind by taking an aimless drive. I’d fill up the tank of my del Sol, grab a pack or three of cigarettes and hit the road, listening to my CD’s and letting it all go.
There was, and still is, something magical about driving aimlessly to nowhere in particular, nothing on my mind but whatever song was playing on the stereo, and just existing. Just complete peace. It’s something I dearly miss about my old life, and something I hope to get back into when my kidlets grow up. I love them both tremendously, but having them squack at me from the backseat would lose a bit of the luster, I imagine, so I don’t take them.
Since I live in the northern part of Illinois, the easiest place for me to follow country roads is down South. It’s crazy how much difference in attitude there is down there and that always makes me desperately yearn to move down there. It doesn’t matter if I leave the state or not, the South is just so much more welcoming than the North is. I’ll never know if it’s the last remnants of the war or the vast amount of moonshine, but people down South are just different.
Now, the Midwest, where I lay my head at night is great, don’t get me wrong, but it conjures up images farmland, cows, and girls with thick ankles. And I’m flanked by the most boring states in existence: Wisconsin, Indiana, and….Ohio? Iowa? Not sure, as my geography skills are sorely lacking (along, truth be told with my spelling, punctuation, and fraction skills). Either way, none of those states make me go “YES, let’s go to…INDIANA!” not because they’re bad or anything, but just because there’s not much there to be pumped about.
Down South, there are plenty of exotic locals: Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, each with something new! and exciting! for a Yank like me. It’s alluring to me somehow, all of these locals, each full of nice people who may talk a bit slowly for my liking, but sweet and interesting nonetheless.
I’ll probably never understand the allure of Sweet Tea and probably always get a little sick from Barbeque (especially BBQ Spaghetti. What.the.fuck?), but since the North isn’t holding much in the way of appealing to me these days, I’m going to take a mental road-trip down South, past the Mason-Dixon Line (where that is, I’ll never know).
Who knows, maybe I’ll actually go down South one of these nights after The Daver is home to watch the sleeping kids and revisit my glory days when nothing much mattered except for the song on the radio.
Right about now, that sounds phenomenal.