There are two Americas, the actual one that is leaning more to the right toward a polite version of fascism and the America in legend, in movies. For now, we’re only concerned with the latter version.
The United States of vast expanse, of two-lane desert highways, of reverb rock bands, of high-speed — the America that used to invent things, that put men on the moon, that America is still strong and still the image of hope and cool all around the globe. The America where Burning Man happens, where rock and roll was invented, where speed was born. The land of refuge, the land of victory, of loss and despair. The place to start over, forge a new identity, invent something crazy like the means to tame lightning. The land that, unlike Iron Maiden, can be sought.
There are many places where one can travel for hours, maybe days, and not see many people; and the odd souls one meets are their own people, for good or ill. While in modern cities and progressive societies cars are increasingly outdated and silly, many places between remote outposts like Elko and Pecos still allow one to travel at a high rate of speed through a dusty, forgotten expanse. Gasoline and diesel aren’t as inexpensive as they once were, but no one cares about that once they get back on the lonely and inviting blacktop, pointing the headlights toward the endless horizon and slamming the throttle down.
If you’re on a bicycle, ease in to your rhythm, find the stride as you move with the horizon, bending time-space as those tires crunch over gravel, hum over asphalt.
Turn the music up; sip hot, black coffee or an ice-cold soda and roar off before the pull of suburbia and the problems of the world sink their claws into the soft, youthful flesh of imagination, of dreaming, of adventure.
In these distant places, the political and socio-economic battles where greed picks at the sun-bleached bones and leather-faced carrion of a decaying nation don’t exist. They’re the problems of elsewhere, leaving one’s mind to wander, or perhaps retain a certain type of precision focus not possible elsewhere.
Originally published at https://www.brianmcgloin.com.