a cluttered mind and a crossroad. every window down and the speakers blaring whatever song my iPod shuffles. what a moment to be invested in. i do this from time to time and tonight's no different. burning up the pavement, & flying faster than i should be adjacent to the center yellow line. it's something about staring into the eyes of the city when you come to mind and i see you again after all these years. the bright lights shine on your face just like stars in the sky and i'm reminded of the beautiful life i live as my mind drifts to memories of you. it's like all the stories in past years have lined up for this moment and this second. on i-85 in charlotte, north carolina, there you and i were 13 years ago and i'd never been there before. i remember seeing an exit to take onto the i-77 interstate for the columbia/statesville split. to veer into the city of charlotte, we had to curve left and tonight this view hasn't changed since you were the one sitting in the driver's seat way back then. it's still one of my favorite views and it never, ever gets old. and now that i live here, sometimes i will take the long way home just to experience the city light up the sky like it's doing tonight. there are thousands of windows in the glass and steel buildings - all filled with people with sunken eyes and broken halleluiah's wondering when things will turn around. and they all look at me as i'm driving by wishing they could find the freedom and clarity and peace of mind i find when i take it out on the pavement with you as a memory, now in the passenger seat. when you're learning to drive, you find there's a correlation between turning your wheel left and your car goes left; turning the wheel right and your car goes right. and tonight, you remind me of something as simple as this phenomenon i can apply to my own life as i'm the one who determines my own footsteps. although we can't completely guess and gauge every moment of uncertainty that approaches us, but we do have the ability to control how we react. the city lights fade when i head deeper into the heavy trees and dimly lit roads and the bright, coarse moon that hides behind the clouds starts to show its figure and it brightens your face. your wrinkles are more heavy this time and your hair is thinner and more white, but your heart - ever so pure. and we drive on, the headlights leading my way - a path i can't see until i'm only right in front of it as the road ahead dulls to a black mystery of what's to come. you can only see but so far ahead of you to gauge which path you should take very much like the life i live. you can't plan out your days because God will throw you something in your path and the trail you created with such certainty, you'll have to veer off of.
in the moments when i'm driving is when i find this remedy; as the tires touch the tar and my foot presses the pedal and you whisper the plans you still have for me.
it's where i go when i want to feel you again. you and i spent days in the car traveling to unseen beaches, our favorite burger places and going to get ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. sometimes i get in the car and the hint of your old purfume still lingers, even though no trace of the scent is to be found and i envision there's a tube of red lipstick still in the glove compartment as there always was from the days when i was a child. i'd always watch you apply it in the rearview mirror and smile because you said one day i'd be pretty when i wore it too. grandaddy always yelled at you to pay attention because you were crossing that white line toward the gravel and grass on the back roads and enbankments.
so tonight as i pass through the skyline, i'm carrying you with me again. in these moments of loud music and my wind blown hair, i see you smiling from heaven above reminding me to turn my wheel left and it will always go left.
but mostly to lead my life right, and it will always go right.
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