the long and winding road

driving has become an activity i love deeply. perhaps it’s the way that the seatbelt straps me in, and with a click declares that no matter what comes, i will be held and protected. perhaps it’s the way that as the ignition starts, the car turns into promise and potential. but if i were to be honest, it’s not that complicated. driving, like everything else in my life, had come to revolve around you.

for two people who hadn’t known each other for a long time, we ended up spending a lot of time driving together. the first time was an overeager offer from my side: you needed to get something for your upcoming trip overseas, and somehow i ended up suggesting that i come along for the ride. as soon as the words were out, i blushingly realized that this was perhaps too soon – we’d only spent time with each other once before. yet, the genuine smile that stretched over your face as you looked at me, told me i’d said the right thing.

by the time we met the following day, however, a doubt had come to rest feather-light on my shoulder. taking a quick trip with someone who’d been but a stranger a few days before was manageable, but we were heading somewhere a hour’s drive away. wouldn’t it just make things awkward? the more i thought about it, the more i began to fear that this was perhaps a gesture of comfortable ease our fledgling friendship wasn’t ready for. but you didn’t seem to share this worry, and as i’d offered to come with, i felt it too late to say something. so we carried on to your car, the little doubt growing more and more heavy the closer we got closer.

you unlocked the passenger door first. pulling the handle down, you turned towards me, and, suddenly sheepish, said “i brought a CD along that i wanted you to listen to, but i suddenly realized that i came in the car without a CD player.” then i knew it was going to be okay, as i replied: “That’s a pity. Because I’d brought something for you to listen to as well!” smiling, i got into the car, leaving the little doubt to flutter to the ground.

it took only a few minutes of being on the road before a moment became forever. it seemed as if you’d always been the one in charge, resting one hand on the steering wheel, another shifting the gears intermittently, cocking your head towards me every now and then to show you were still listening. it seemed as if i’d always been the one sitting next to you, with my feet perched up on the corner by the dashboard, listening to the stories you made up for me, singing in the comfortable silences that arose between. so the next time you asked, Yes?, my answer could only be Please.

after that final trip to the airport, then, driving became a way of escape. if i couldn’t be with you, at least i could delude myself that i was driving towards you. every journey was a maybe, and only when i’d reached my actual destination did that maybe become a maybe not. but it was while i was driving, that i could still dream.

the long and winding road
that leads to your door
will never disappear
i’ve seen that road before
it always leads me here
leads me to your door

the beatles’ the long and winding road


~ by translating for peas on October 13, 2009.

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