Cruising Poetic

So we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
And the moon still be as bright.
                                 -Lord Byron
Those lines makes me think of all those teenage nights spent driving around with my two best friends, Matt Petty and Lee Walsh. We never seemed to have a destination, but we were always going somewhere. It was freedom like I had not known before. We were the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the streets of Fort Worth.
There’s an episode of the Wonder Years right after Kevin gets his license. He and his friends go out wandering. At the end the narrator says, “We didn’t really accomplish anything that night. Nothing of any real importance, anyway. But through the high school years that lay ahead… there would be a thousand other nights, just like that one. Stupid, ridiculous… and glorious.” I love that line. It says it all.
It’s a rite of passage for young American men after getting a driver’s license. As long as there have been cars and roads to drive them on and cities to drive them through, boys have sought their freedom behind the wheel. Its more about the journey than the destination. Its about constant discovery and endless change and the element of chance. You can control the vehicle, but not always the conditions. Ahead lies risk and danger, joy and exhaltation. You can’t easily turn around so you only move forward, pushing forever away from the place of your birth and constantly toward the grave. If you’re fortunate you have close friends to share the wonder with you along the way.
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