Yesterday I missed going somewhere because I had trouble with my car. I limped it into a shop around noon. Driving back to my apartment I was in a solid mood – glad some to not have to make that trip, thinking over some of my posts, one of which rated a Norman freaking Mailer comparison, and how points I’ve made might be said more truly, or be wrong for that. Suddenly I came to a turn in the road that took me out of that. The last time I’d come to that place was in the dead of a winter night that I spent in that car.
I drift sometimes, I start driving into the dark and I go deep into the night. I never decide which way I’ll go at the turn ahead. I consult some instinct that always pulls me out of the city, to drift and drift along back country roads until the night is half gone and I feel I’ve found its middle. And sleep there and feel at home.
Last October I lived in my car. My usual wistful hunch was gone – I walked with a happy eye as though the city was finally home. It didn’t last when I lived between walls again. I’m badly haunted by the faceless uniformity of the raw suburbs I often work in – the slow blank panic they stir into quiet eddies in me. I try to imagine distinct families and lives inside and try hard to place myself into a particular home and life but the feeling is irrevocable and it came before I saw these. I cannot conceive of a career or a wife and family that I could live up to – except when I cannot conceive of one that would satisfy me. So I drift, out of university and into odd jobs, and away from relationships – a search for texture. They say something about a fundamentalist who comes to see no center. It’s about me. No wonder people who lose sure faith in God will reject Him just as absolutely. I cannot go from one faith to another and between – what is there? I am too small to ever know. Seeing no center I drift and fall and send out glances. If I cannot know it, I must get a feel for the texture of life.
I can’t sleep on a bed… I must feel too placed. My greatest comfort is in resting my head and chest so they connect with the texture of something solid and hard beneath me. I finally stop looking as my skin lets me rest. How is it that we are amazed that just many years ago men would voyage to the ends of the earth and risk to die alone together? I envy them so badly. Now we know the ends of the earth – it amplifies our placelessness, we who do not know a center.
I only feel at home when I’m moving. I must be searching for places for a lonely heart.