I’m driving in my silver Toyota Camry on the way to the gym. Outside of my metal box on wheels, Chicago is grey, wet, and snowy. Most years, this would be considered a beautiful February day, but we’ve had an usually warm winter, so today sucks. I turn up the radio and a feeling overwhelms me as Anthony Kiedis’ voice washes over my ears, “I don’t want to ever feel, like I did that day….take me to the place I love, take me all the way.”
In seconds, I’m propelled to a memory long forgotten; buried deep in my brain, where a younger me still tries to thrive. I’m driving in a blue Chevy Silverado. We’re on the Pacific Coast Highway. He dyed his hair red a few days ago and I should have know that was the beginning of the end. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sex Magik album blaring from the speakers. He’s singing loudly, occasionally looking at me between lyrics. His smile is short, but his stare runs right into me. He takes short puffs of his cigarette, a smoker on and off, but lately, he smokes endlessly.
My ears ring at the chorus as he turns up the sound. I am in love. I hate the color of his hair. I miss the white blonde California boy I met when I was seventeen. I still see him. He pushes the pedal, picking up speed in his truck. He smiles at me again, this time, we both belt out the words, “It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there, it’s hard to believe that I’m all alone….” He rolls the windows down and his blue eyes become brighter as the road curves and the light shifts.
We ride with the sun burning our arms, the cars speeding by, the mountains jealous of our freedom. We move toward the desert for one last night together before the world is dark.