It’s a bumpy ride, but someone’s gotta do it

I’ve spent enough hours procrastinating that if I don’t start now, I never will.

Do you think if a Power Ranger was in the hospital having an injury treated they’d be all “It’s Morphine Time”? Thank you. I’ll be here for the next 30 minutes.

It’s a long weekend and we’re going on a road trip. My girlfriend and I are renting a car with our friend and driving to Stratford, Ontario. By the sounds of it, Stratford is a cute little town with a thriving theatre community. Touristy, but non-offensively so. My dream is that we’ll find a homey diner where a matronly old waitress will call all of us “darling”. The portions will be both gratuitous and delicious, especially flanked by a spearmint milkshake. We’ll walk around thrift stores and antique spots, seeing weird and slightly odd relics. Maybe we’ll walk around and read a plaque or two, then grab a quick last bite before driving back to Toronto. We’ll listen to something we all know and sing along on the ride back. By the time we return to the city, the sun will have set and we’ll feel comfortably pooped from the long day.

Sounds ideal, right?

I used to love owning a car. Sure, it meant semi-regular maintenance and uncomfortably regular fill ups, but that kind of freedom on tap was amazing. If we wanted to drive 40 minutes out of town to visit a neat cafe, we could. We had the ability to go somewhere for an excuse to hang out in motion. Changing scenery meant there was always something to talk about. There’s something reassuring about the exact kind of privacy a car affords. It’s your own space where you can freely see the world around you, but you’re out of earshot. I guess it’s like how houses protect you from the elements, that sort of security. Except a car is security you can take with you. I don’t miss having to think when I’m stuck in traffic. I actually quite appreciate public transit in Toronto. Still, having unlimited access to an automobile was a delightful privilege.

It’s also swell just to pursue a different location. It’s a journey, an adventure, like all those 80s family movies I was talking about the other day. Who knows what strange phenomenon we’ll uncover. Maybe we’ll run into a local urban legend, or find ourselves high tailing it from the police on a high octane misadventure. Maybe we’ll accidentally kill a guy, flay him and dissolve his skin in acid. Who knows where the day will take us? Maybe we’ll even find that matronly old waitress who’ll call us “darling”. The opportunities are nigh endless.

It’s so easy to get stuck in your habits (like clumsy nuns) and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when life is nothing but habitual (like workaholic nuns). I’ve found over the past few years that breaking up the norm a little here and there often releases tensions I didn’t realise I was carrying. It’s like we have our defences up about certain things at all times, because that aspect of auto pilot helps process the world around us more efficiently. Toronto is very busy. Automatically filtering out people who’d impede your route makes it easier to get around faster. In Stratford though, I Have My Doubts it’ll be as hectic a pace. Maybe having the time to smell the roses will also be time to reflect. Maybe I’ll reflect on roses, or get mirrored rose tinted glasses to make my view of the world that much more insular and palatable.

Maybe I’ll even check up places to buy acid in Stratford. Just to know, y’know?

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