I’m on my last of nine nights on the road. If I wrote a beat-novel based on this experience, it would probably go something like this:

There is nothing like seven hours driving across the southeast, windows down even in the freezing cold, not listening to jazz but its grandchild, hip hop, and trying to ignore the sensation in my gut like a string pulling me back home where I’d rather be, any day . You can say I lack that “free spirit” but this is traveling with a mission and a mission ties you down just like roots, a husband, home, babies, bills… And sometimes being tethered to someone is the best thing in the world, when you get that text message that makes you smile and makes you miss home all the more. And hotels… oh they can be so nice but I’d rather be in the woods, in a tent with a cooler of beer and one little cigarette, not to smoke but to watch, entranced as it burns. I wouldn’t call this my life on the road, these hotels with their mini-fridges and feather pillows, these hours of endless driving, these phone calls that wreck my nerves… no I’d call it nine days outside of life, nine days away from living and breathing the things I know and love. Tomorrow I go home, and never will I appreciate the long miles of I-85 that await me and my mobile office more than I will at noon tomorrow. I may not spend much time meditating life, I won’t be doing any drugs, and the closest I’ll come to a zen experience will probably be as I pump gas halfway home, but I will most definitely come home a freer woman.

:::::::::bongo beating in background fades; audience snaps approvingly, adjust their berets and sigh in collective zen-like contentment:::::::::