The Getting There (and back)

I drive about 70 miles each day for my commute to work. Most of that 350 mile-per-week trip is in metro-Detroit traffic, which is just on this side of having a mosquito bite on your ankle where your shoe rubs for irritation.

But when my college roommate and his girlfriend of eight years got married this past weekend, it put my endurance to the test as I traveled 914 miles (about 17 hours) for the wedding in Marquette in Michigan’s upper peninsula. (total mileage and hours)

There are lots of things that a trip of that length will make you do. One of them is the seriously evaluate your personal music collection.

Of the 30-odd gigabytes of music I have on my computer, I managed to put a healthy mix of rock and alternative, hip-hop and even a little bit of pop onto eight CDs. A total of 180 songs and roughly six hours seemed like plenty of distraction, considering some tracks would likely get a replay, there would be phone conversations and that old standby, NPR.

But a few hours of solo driving and you realize there aren’t enough songs to belt the words you barely know or phone calls or anything to make a ride like that less bothersome.

Then, you start thinking. Which is fine, except at some point you stop.

So, I spent about three hours on Sunday not having a single thought. Not one.

Not a single idea for three hours.

And it. Was. FANTASTIC!

Of course, I understand it probably wasn’t safe, but it’s not that I wasn’t awake or aware, I just transferred function out of my frontal lobes and into my amygdala.

I like ideas. I wake up in the middle of the night and scribble them down before returning to my pillow. Deep thoughts, not just of the Jack Handey variety, are good. But, for someone like me, putting my brain in standby made the trip almost as good as my dancing at the reception.

(Especially to this song, which makes sense)