Sometimes all you need is a night drive. With good music and good company. And absolutely nowhere to go. No predetermined destination. No reservation at a restaurant, no movie to see, or friends to meet. Just you, your driving companion, a damn good playlist or a radio station that completely understands you and a long road of endless possibilities.
When malls become unbearably loud and crowded, or when you lose taste at hitting the so called hip yet overpriced spots in town, when staying idle at home is boring and you feel the urge to get out of the house, a random night drive is the right fit. The freedom of not having to chase a movie screening time, or simply not having to be somewhere at a given time is a sweet release from a life of schedules and routines.
First of all it’s the seating position. You behind the wheel, me besides you. These seats are strategically and frustratingly the perfect example of so-close-yet-so-far. We’re so close that I can steal glances at the twinkle in your eyes when you smile when you’re telling a story from your childhood. We’re so close that I can sense just a faint smell of your delicious scent, a mix of masculinity, your laundry softener, and cologne (?). We’re so close that I can reach out my arm to playfully touch your hair, or fiddle with your ear. We’re so close that you can touch my hair or squeeze my fat arm from time to time. But amid that closeness exists a frustrating 25 cm distance between us. We’re so far that I can’t comfortably put my head on your shoulder. We’re so far that I can’t cup your face in my hands or feel the thin bristles of your facial hair and feel how they tickle the tips of my fingers. This so-close-yet-so-far seating arrangement just makes the night drive cozy. We’re close enough to appreciate each other’s presence yet far enough to long for more. But night drives aren’t only for people in love or people who are on their way to being in love. A night drive with a good friend is also enjoyable. It’s a good exercise of self control. Even though the mood is right to put your arm on his shoulder, you hold back. We’re just friends. Let’s not make this weird. Let’s just enjoy this like old buddies.
It is in these night drives that I can connect with you. It’s in these night drives that we can go rambling on about the little details we see on the way, or how we wonder where the parents of these homeless children are, or how we ramble on about how work has been, or about the places you want to visit, or your desire to start a healthy lifestyle, or that vehicle you want to possess. It’s in these nights that we can go from chatting to complete silence without feeling awkward. It’s in these night drives that we can have a conversation so deep, that the silence that falls after it opens a new chapter of deep thought that is far from awkward. But in the middle of that silence, our song plays and interrupts. Well, maybe it is not necessarily our song, but a song we both know by heart. A song that triggers a memory. We start singing along and after that one of us tells a story behind that song. This is the song that I sang for the first time on stage. This is the song that my teacher made us sing for English class. This is the song that I played for my first love in middle school.
A night drive with nowhere to go.
Well maybe you make a few stops here and there. One of us gets thirsty, so we stop and get a cup of hot coffee. I fetch us some snacks just in case you’ll get hungry (when in most cases it is me that gets hungry first). Or maybe there’s a spot on top of a hill where the view of the city lights is pretty. We stop there for a few minutes, a few hours. The radio’s on and it’s playing a mix meticulously made for a night like this. Maybe one of us falls asleep. One of us watches the other one sleeps. Or maybe none of us sleeps and we continue driving. We make an impulsive decision to see the sunrise at a mountain that’s maybe 2 hours from here. Or we make another impulsive decision to go on a memory-lane-tour and pass by the schools you attended and places you used to hang out. Or maybe we make an impulsive decision to buy food and milk and give them out to homeless children. These impulses reveal a certain side of us, you or me, that may not show in other instances. And these small impulses that we choose to follow through on this silly night drive become memories we might laugh or smile at in the future.
Sometimes all you need is a night drive.
*This is a work of fiction, and pretty much sums up my idea of a night drive that I’d like to have in the future, when the time is right.*