Eight years is a long time to travel with one sole companion. As travel ensues and time passes, we are shaped by our adventures and the quality of the company kept throughout them. We refer to our experiences in the context of those we shared them with; our companions play a vital role in what we remember and how we remember it.

Eight years ago I acquired my first car, a white Volkswagon Golf with 36 miles on the odometer and tires ready for the road. We’ve been inseparable since, our only times spent apart lasting only one to two months while I was traveling abroad. Throughout the rest of those years we’ve cruised the east from North Carolina to Maine, driven PA to Colorado and back twice, broken down in Illinois for days, hit two deer (both lived!), several bunnies, a couple of chipmunks, dodged a porcupine, basked in Utah sunsets, Rocky Mountain sunrises, a seemingly endless rainbow in Kansas. The Golf has helped me move to three different colleges in three separate states, has on more than one occassion housed all of my belongings, has on many occasions provided me a home and backseat to roll out my sleeping bag. I’ve cooked, ate, slept, cried, sang too loudly, journaled, laughed, daydreamed, kissed, loved in it. The Golf is as much a part of my life as friends and family, sometimes even more so considering how much time she and I spend together versus the frequency with which I don’t see anyone else.

Even best friends need a break every now and then however, and the Golf and I are about to have our first big one. While I head off to San Francisco to try my luck and creativity with the city life, the Golf will have a nice vacation cruising around the hills of Virginia with my mom and dad. At 108,000 miles shared almost entirely between the two of us, its a good time to separate for a little, hang out with other folks and forms of transportation. And so, a poem to say farewell, or at least, see you later:

The Road

The road.

Again being pulled by open

heart space,

empty time.

pavement rolling past, beneath,

pavement forgotten on contact,

pavement slipping behind rubber spinning wheels like

worries seeping out my naked ears .

free, like unnumbered days on end––free-

dom, freedome, freedomes––

this freedom flutters, butterflies tickling

my belly as I watch

the snowcaps slip by driverside

and heartbreaking blue sky

beckons my foot press harder

little girl and her white bullet Golf

giggling over hairpin passes,

beside glacier bubbles

and falling brooks,

little girl singing the tune of the

humbled mountain admirer,

whistling into the silent expanse––

milkyway wide explosive space––

outstanding open adventures

waiting just beyond

the pink mountain sunset horizon.

Top of Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado, 2006