Drove out east of nowhere. It’s rainy today, and the fog is lifting off the river like it’s hoping for sun, the air just warm enough to give it life. Coffee, coffee, keeping me awake under dreary skies. The rain slashes north with the wind, across the western veering trail of Vermont route 25. The dark pine trees and their white birch siblings stand silent and still dead along the salt encrusted, dirty banks of snow. A river whose name I don’t know lays left of 25, which was constructed to follow the banks of this river.
I sit for a few minutes, no service on my phone, jotting down notes from this drive into my worn out moleskin sitting on the passenger seat. I have no one to come along with me on these adventures anymore, which I realize with a dull achy kind of sadness. It’s not so bad, I think, my handwriting losing its swirl and slowly fading into the harsh, fast paced chicken scratch that comes along as the page starts to end and my hand starts to cramp. When this happens, as it always does, I see my handwriting turn from something like my mom’s, loopy and elegant, to something like my dad’s, harsh angles and straight lines. Multiple personalities filling up my genes, eons of ancestry dictating my handwriting. Dad’s is cuneiform, mom’s is artistic, two separate universes that collided to create me, a disjointed personality that combines both, subconsciously shifts from one or another as my hand decides, no input from me: rude.
This route is quiet, save for the odd passing car headed west to Barre or east to I-91, but mostly the sounds of the river, swollen with spring and snowmelt and mountains of silt, and the birds irritated at such a monumental shift of weather in only 24 hours, rain slashing through their feathers – these are the sounds which cut through my haze from inside the car, my windows all down, the rain pouring in anyway- the left arm of my coat is soaking wet, I realize dismally, although it doesn’t really matter – as with most of my things, this was a second-hand thrift store find, $2 at a place in Middlesex that was once a gas station- no huge loss, but it’s practical and I would hate to lose it to rot from a cold spring rain. I take it off, lay it on the seat beside me, turn the heater on high and lay the sleeve over the vent.
I sit back, close my eyes. Sleep seems so close to me here in this quiet place, where only rain and rivers sing and birds squawk their ensemble. I snap them open again, reach for my coffee, and take a large gulp. There is no time for this. It is time to move again, the wanderlust burning in my bones, the air and fog rising slowly. I have things to do.
I put the car in first gear and take off, the road winding to keep my hands busy on the wheel and my eyes focused on the road.