roadtrip, an essay
by ella.
roadtrips. i love them. miles and miles and miles of road, stretching before you like typewriter ribbon...tiger striped through every exit and rest stop. the carcasses of unfortunate insects collecting like tiny inkblots against the front license plate. that nice vibrating feeling running through your legs and feet that makes you feel like you're floating once the trip is over. the constant whir of air turning into instant wind by decree of your mode of transportation. and the humm of the passing motors, fading in and out an earshot like airplanes. if i believed in heaven, it would be one long roadtrip.
the last real roadtrip i can recall was the five-hour ride up from new jersey to massachusetts. it was the ceremonious trek from high school senior to college first years, documented fully and completely on kodak's highest quality 200-speed film. that morning, we loaded into the car a disturbingly large amount of milk crates full of fashion magazines bought for their photographic content and music magazines bought for their radiohead content. also mammoth frosted green tupperware boxes, sealed tight with twenty pairs of boots (apple green to gold in color), books i had never read but still held a strange unexplainable attachment to, and several sets of twin extra long gingham sheets that eventually went to waste because i changed my sheets only once the entire year. every so often, in the thinning darkness of those few ambiguous hours between night and day, our work would be punctuated by the strobe flash of the camera. smile! click. now i'll never forget loading up my winter clothes. click. and remember the time we had to rearrange all of the milk crates to make my guitar fit? click. great, now i'll have the image of me almost dropping my computer on my foot immortalized forever on high-class glossy. thanks, mom.
we'd been driving since very early. all the front lights were turned off in town as we drove away from suburbia. pillows tucked securely beneath our arms, and bleary smiles of contentment on our faces, we left home...but not before a final round of photographs. snap click click snap. here's one of ella right before we headed off. and here's another one of ella and her pillow. how about a picture of ella in front of the car? mom...i'm going to be late for registration...
i watched the sun rise from a front row seat that worked its way closer from the ever-elusive horizon. and as the sky put on a watercolor fanfare for the weary truckdrivers, and the exit numbers plastered on shiny green road signs slowly grew higher, i found myself in new york. the highway dipped and wound its way around mountains—full of withered trees and evergreens, pine needles, and spanish moss. it was late august but the sun, an ancient yellow, painted the trees like deep autumn. the tiny lakes and ponds cupped within the earth siphoned clouds from the sky and dubbed it fog.
eventually, the sun inched its way out of the treetops and the monochromatic landscape of oranges and reds resolved itself into shades of green and brown. the world emerged from silhouettes into three dimensions. by the time the general public had greeted the long-gone dawn, i had been on the road for several hours. several states away.
i had dozed in and out of sleep as towns and cities of every demographic swallowed us up and spit us out. each progressively more alive than the previous. each waking slowly. new york city. danbury. solsburg. needham. worchester. here we are...wellesley.
it was around ten in the morning, with the sun behaving wonderfully cheery, when we reached our final destination. again, for some strange reason, instinct dictated that the moving of my belongings from the back of the toyota camary should be documented for posterity. for the family album. for the empty frame on the mantelpiece. for that five-page color supplement featuring never-before-seen personal photographs if and when i should ever write a tell-all uncensored autobiography.
but that was months ago. nine, to be precise. since then, i've been back and forth a million times from school to home, home to school. unfortunately, it hasn't been the same. we travel now at noon instead of at those magical hours when everything is silhouettes and the sky is trying to decide whether it wants to be black or grey. there is no more excessive picture taking, no great exodus of my belongings. no romance. i think the constant repetition of the trip has desensitized be to the new jersey/massachusetts trek...kind of like building up a tolerance to a drug. what i need now is a stronger dosage. more mileage.
like i said before, i love roadtrips. if they manufactured it in pill-form, i'd be the number one, roadtrip junky. if roadtrips were a person or people, i'd have sex with them. if roadtrips were inanimate object, i would still have sex with them. even though i haven't seen it, i want to adapt that tom green movie, road trip, as my favorite movie of all time...then again. maybe not.
anything that puts me and tom green in the same sentence is not a good idea.
Literature Section

© Copyright 2000 by Coscolluela.Com
All rights reserved.