Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Catalina Highway

I saw some people I hadn't seen in a while, and went to a place I haven't been in a long time. The smells remain. That's one of the biggest things that gets me. I can remember the smells of these places, and when they haven't changed, nostalgia docks in my mind like a yacht in a pool.

While driving around the place I hadn't been for a long time, and after seeing the people I hadn't seen in a while, I realized how important a certain road was to me growing up. The highway near my house was my path to civilization, to the city. It's a long stretch of simple road, with a high (compared to the rest of my normal driving routes) speed limit, that gets busy at times, but flows so nicely that often it's barren. I took it as I was taken places, as I learned to drive, and as I ventured into the city.

For a time the road acted as a sort of connection between my parents after their divorce. My mom moved into an apartment complex at the end of the highway, and my dad lived at the end of it (as far as I was concerned, even though it's more accurate to say that his house rests somewhere in the middle). I would drive that road from house to house or parent to parent.

I drove the road during the summer nights of Tucson, and felt the comfortable wind in my mouth. I drove it in a Jeep during the winter, and the wind ate my hands and my face. There was a time where a friend took me to a Skate Country event, and on the way back I stuck my head out of the window and minded the stars nearly the whole road. The stars work well out there, not like the pale, barely functioning versions we get in the city.

That road saw all my emotions. That road saw secret emotions of mine that very few, if any, have seen or will ever see. The road took me to friends houses, to girlfriends houses, to restaurants, to movies, parties, and to church.

Consistently though, that road led me home.

I've lived at both my mom's and my dad's house for a while now, but I'm going to be living on my own (with roommates) here soon. That road will still lead me home, but to a home set in my past. To home that still exists, and still functions as my home, and will still consume me when I need it to, but to a home that was.

And that road will mean something else to me from here on out. I realized while driving past it tonight that there's a ridiculously small percentage of living people that have ever been on that road. Very few people see the road the same way that I did (if any at all). It was my link to society, my link to the real world, the big one that looms out there but doesn't invade childhood.

Now I'm here, in that world. As I move forward and continue to grow that road won't be something that links me to society, but one that acts as a gateway to my past, to memories, and to my old self.

So cheers to that road, and to all roads like it.