I wrote the first version of this in 2006 when I was living in Colorado Springs. The is not the original. The original got trashed about 2 years after it was written. But the feeling is still very strong in me. Know what I mean?
This rewrite is dedicated to the Angel in Santa Cruz.
Late Last Night
I woke late last night to a noise. It didn’t startle me awake and at first I thought I might be dreaming. Then I heard the clear, unmistakable, familiar voice coming from outside my window. The highway was calling me—again.
“Hey Bubba! Where ya been? I’ve been missing you lately. Are you about ready for another Road Trip? I’ve just been running around out here thinking about all the times we’ve had and wondering what times there might be to come.
Do you remember that time in Kingsport when you couldn’t get arrested no matter how bad you wanted to? What a hoot THAT was! Then there was that time in Lexington when I thought you’d about freeze to death on my shoulder. That wasn’t so cool, but you take the bad with the good, right? Huh? Well, in any case, me and you sure do share some history. ‘Long as you remember who the boss is. I’ll let you pretend to be King of the Road all you want, but, just between you and me, we know the real skinny.
Hey! We can make some new times! Whattaya say, Bro? I got some roads you never seen before and some sights and people and actions along the way that’ll knock your eyes out. There’s a bunch you have seen too, but it never hurts to be reminded sometimes, right? Right?
Remember those high plains on Falcon Highway? The sun was so bright that it’d rip the skin tight off your back. The hawks fly low and challenge you for the road, eh? How about Asheville? Can’t you just smell the pines? Ah, what times we’ve had.
I’ll show you places that never see sunlight all the living day, and pitch black nights with not even stars to light your way and little creatures go scurrying through the brush. The big ones go crashing. You’ve had the lemonade squirt outta ya more than once from the sound of that. HA!
You want to go some big city, Bro? Why anyone would want to go someplace and be shoved and jostled by a bunch of viscous and lonely-heart monkeys beats the hell outta me, but you go right ahead. I got the whole wide natural world out here but if you can’t resist I’ll carry you there, but you don’t mind if I don’t go in with you. I’ll wait right here by this bush ‘til you get back. I don’t truck with no boulevards and avenues. Go ahead and make your zoo trip and hurry on back.
I know one you got to remember. This one is gotta be burned right hard in your head. Remember Harris Creek Road? You oughta. You lived there for 30 years. Many a night you walked Harris Creek from the mouth back into the swamp. Many a morning you you didn’t remember that hike of miles down the road and the only thing who knew your passing was me and your shoes. Heh heh.
Hey Man! Don’t cry! I ain’t doin’ nothing but talking here, ya know? I can’t hug you, Boo. I’m just asphalt and paint. Alright. Alright. I’ll let you alone. You go on back to sleep. But you know I’ll be right here waiting for you when you decide to hit me and roll. It won’t be long. I know you too damn well. Sure do.