• jandan57

Open roads - fast cars, roadside cafes

I've been up for hours , since 1.38 a.m to be precise. It is strange the thoughts you have in the midnight hours. For some reason I also had a strong memory of a time when I packed myself into a car and kept driving. Just to nowhere in particular in the wonderful quiet solitude of the night. I have that urge now. To just grab a bag of clothes, some music, whatever is in my handbag and just go.

To nowhere, for no reason, with no plan.

I would wind my way down empty streets , turn off onto long highways filled with trucks and others living the life of night secrets. At some point I would find the dawn breaking with all its colour and hope of a new day and along the way the lure of a roadside cafe would call me in. I love those old style roadside cafes before they became all super commercial with a Maccas and coffee franchise at every venue. I fondly remember the ones where the bacon and egg toasties were cooked like at home after a night of drunken partying and the coffee was gritty and real and woke you up with its bitterness. The tables would have a shabby tablecloth on them in an attempt to make you feel comfortable and the mismatched chairs always had at least one wobbly leg. But you could sit there in solitude and give a nod and a smile to whatever random walked in and then return to your brekkie and quiet thoughts.

I use to wonder where people were going, what they were up to. It was like a secret early morning escape club. No doubt my over dramatic mind made up better stories than the hum drum of life's realities but I still indulged myself in far flung scenarios as I wrapped my hands around the coffee mug. People would fill up on petrol , take their toilet stops, stock up on food supplies , work on a few stretches and exercises, whilst for others a smoke break was essential. I have a strange urge to find those places again, to blend in to nothingness to hit an open road.

What holds us back from having these adventures I wonder ? Well I know for a fact if I just randomly disappeared and didn't turn up for work there may be an issue. If I didn't attend all the scheduled appointments and meetings it could also be a problem and costly as they charge you if you do not attend appointments . That's the trouble these days, our lives are so scheduled and planned and everything is fitted in . The effort to just hit the open road, no explanation, no care factor becomes a task of organisation and thought, which in turn defeats the purpose . Does this mean I have grown up ? become responsible ? conformed !!

In the stillness of this early hour I remember a time long ago when I loaded up a car with a cat and drove into the night. It was so long ago I wore flannelette shirts had my hair in pigtails and listened to Leo Sawyer on the tape deck. I may add the tape deck wasn't in the actual car it was a household one that held 8 big batteries, the old boombox type. It would rest in the middle console , you had to sit it there as the music was drowned out by the crappy engine noises. Whether the car would make it was also a part of the thrill of the drive. In those days I wasn't neurotic like I am now about car safety and reliability. See I have grown up !

In those days I could disappear for months on end and no one would know, these days not so much. So as the hours tick by in dark of the night , before the dawn breaks maybe a trip to 24 hour K mart is as good as it gets. But maybe, just maybe if I do go off the radar just hunt up an old roadside cafe in the middle of nowhere, I'll be sat in the corner munching on an egg and bacon toastie. Just remember to bring my mail in, water the garden and put the bins out .

May the open road lead you where you need to be ........

xx Jan

Sidenote - OK I have been up for awhile now and the romantic notion of driving into the night has been replaced by the need for my snuggly bed and more sleep so I can face the day - reality always wins :)

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