By Ryan Freeman
I’ve been doing a lot of driving the last couple days, because my trip is now on a clock, and that’s given me a lot of time to reflect on not only my trip, but where I’m at in general. All of this alone time has really only let me be entirely sure of one thing:
My life has been extremely weird lately.
I’ve been finding myself in these situations that seem straight out of a romanticized and cliché coming-of-age novel, with a healthy bit of Skins-esque substance use. Like, how a few weeks ago, I met this girl for the first time after becoming extremely close with her over the internet -- by getting lost in her home state at midnight, listening to Korean hip hop album on a vaguely cloudy night, while she hits a bowl in my passenger seat. Or that time my friend Evan and I skipped out on most of a Fall Out Boy concert to get lost driving around and having super in-depth conversations on our core beliefs. Or how I sat with Jess, in pitch black darkness of Acadia, on huge cliffs overseeing the crashing waves below, as we split a couple spliffs and basked in the existence of everything.
A lot of the weird and good things in my life recently have been because of Jess. Ever since we made an impulse decision in March, to drive a few hours away to a mountain range in the middle of the night, my life has been impacted in a very good, very meaningful way. Whether it’s sitting on the rocks on an island in the middle of the night, or watching a movie in the back of my Prius, drinking at my house, or even taking a five hour trip to an abandoned air force base to do 115MPH on the runway -- she’s always up to do things. She’s adventurous in a way that none of my other friends are and she makes for the very best partner in crime.
All of these things, though, pale in comparison to the trip I currently find myself on. I’ve spent 7 nights sleeping in my car at random Walmarts across the country. I’ve spent 3 nights in the sketchiest hotel rooms because I’ve only been looking for cheap. I spent last night driving through the desert alone, when before this week I had never left the east coast before. I’ve been leaving copies of one of my mixtapes at random rest stops across the country, just to see what would happen. I drove 8 hours from Topeka, KS to Dallas, TX to get IHOP with a friend that moved away, got some rest, woke up and drove to Vallejo, CA in one go.
All of these things are just so incomprehensible to me. A year ago, I couldn’t have predicted any of this, and I love it that way.