I have not traveled in my life nearly as much as I would have liked. I’ve crossed the country, once by car when driving with my son home from Camp Pendleton in California. And that was a pretty righteous trip, believe me. For example in the picture of my boy to the right, we visited the Grand Canyon. This picture was taken just before I flung him over the edge. [Ed. Note: Evan was not flung into this national landmark. He’s quite well and recently became a father. Why do you even listen to this guy?]
Much earlier, when I was 18 I got to travel to Mexico City with my Spanish class, but as road trips go, this one was conducted mainly in the air. I was still badass, (I have no pictures from it, although I took several rolls, I never got them developed, and eventually, I lost them. Pity.) [Ed. Note: Alas, that part is true.] My family went to Florida to vacation fairly regularly until about the time of the key event in my previous post. I drove with a group of guys from Saranac Lake, NY to West Palm Beach in 1984 to sell Christmas trees in Florida, (and remember almost nothing of the month, especially once the cocaine started flowing).
I made it to Canada a number of times back before this was like trying to get over the wall into West Berlin. Drove from Syracuse to Maine once to attend a lumber kiln drying convention, (swear to God), and stopped off in New Hampshire, where my boss and I climbed Mount Chocorua. In the picture of the summit to the right, you can just make out as my boss’s body is flung off the peak. [Ed. Note: Sigh. He did not throw his boss off Mount Chocorua.]
So I’m not trying to sit here and say I’ve never left mom’s basement or anything like that. I have. Tons of times.
My point is there’s still so much I want to do. I’d happily revisit all of these places. Plus I want to go to NOLA, plus I want to go to LA, and Denver and every place about which I’ve written.
But my dream road trip?
I suppose it would be through Europe, and I suppose it would just be me and Miles. I suppose we would make it a voyage of discovery. A coming of age for an aging man and a black dog in the prime of his life. I suppose I would write constantly, capturing everything I saw, and smelled, and tasted, and touched. Oh, I would touch. I would touch everything that would tolerate the weight of my fingertips. I would have Miles take a trick aspect photo of me feeling up the Venus di Milo. I’d figure out a way to take a picture that looks like he’s mounting a bull as it runs through the streets of Pamplona. He might actually try it. Who knows? I need to see Switzerland. I think that will be hard to leave behind. My people are from Italy, and we’d spend plenty of time there, bringing down property values wherever we go. Even in the Mafia towns.
And thanks to the fact that I’ve had a little bit of success writing books, I will be able to visit friends… all over Europe, and all over the world.
And that would be the thing that was going to make it the road trip of my dreams. The people that I’ve come to know, but have never been close enough to touch. To talk to. The people that I’ve turned to when there was no one to turn to. And Miles would be with me for all of it. Unless he hooks up with some sweet European dolly. Can’t fault a guy for something like that. Granted I wouldn’t do it to him, but he’s younger. He also doesn’t have any testicles, but I hear in Europe that’s considered chic.
I’ll see you on the road.