Due to the directions of the commute, there is a good 80 per cent of my ride where there are no forms of street lights. Yes, you've read that correctly: there are no lamps lining the road as you drive down a stretch of pavement warning you about "Panther Crossing: 4 Miles". I know you're probably asking yourself "I wonder if she's seen a panther..." and I'll be honest: I have. They aren't what you expect when you're not used to it. I happened to have seen one last month, and it was walking the breakdown lane on the highway. It was close to 11:30 in the evening and I was on my way home. In the corner of my headlights, I had seen some sort of beige 4 legged animal give me the stare down as I passed it. I thought it was a bobcat - what do I know? Since it was almost midnight and I had been working for the past 10 hours, I wasn't completely sure of what I just witnessed. Last time I saw a big cat, I was at a zoo. Plus, aren't panthers black? What's a tan cat doing here? The next day I had to return to said property, and I was telling the kid I was working with, about what I saw. Since he's half "FloGrown" (he's spent the last half of his life in Florida), he said that there in fact are tan / beige panthers in the area we are in, and I most certainly had seen one. I'm so used to thinking they're black, it never occurred to me they could be a lighter shade of nightfall. When I've seen tan cats, it's been in the mountains of New Hampshire. Typically regional cats know their place; this was new to me.
Anyway, back to last night.
I figured I'd plug my RCA USB MP3 player (which no longer is being made / sold, unfortunately) and listen to some tunes to keep my head occupied. Rather fitting, in some ways, the first song (and album) on my speakers was David Bowie's Blackstar (★).
Why is it fitting that this was first? Due to the haunting audio and lyrics of the title track, mixed with driving down a long and dark road, it's possible the driver / listener may find themselves contemplating life to its fullest capacity. Even simple things like "why aren't there any street lights around here?" or "Why am I the only car on the road for these past 20 miles? Is anyone out there, leaving work so late too?". There are just so many questions and thoughts going on in my head ("It's seriously November?", "Shit, db has been gone 11 months. WTF."), that I'm tired of flipping the dials on the radio every 3 to 4 minutes. I hate listening to the same commercials on 5 different stations (more specifically a pushy, egocentric car salesman). Sometimes I hear the same song replayed on 2 stations 20 minutes apart. The other week, one of the rock stations aired the same playlist 2 days in a row. They just switched a couple songs out of order. It becomes one of those "enough is enough" and I just dump some albums onto my player and have at it.
Yes, I'm fortunate now to have a CD player, aux port, and a USB port in my car. Interesting upgrades from my AM/FM, cassette tape and CD player...
It just boggles my mind, however, how dark it gets on these roads. It feels so desolate and lonely, that it's no wonder panthers come out at night to roam the land. Every once in a while, you can pass a statie in wait, trying to catch the next speed demon. However, I've found that's been the case during the end of the month when they need to meet their quota (not that I'm looking to get pulled over or anything. It just seems like I passed a good 30 cars at various points last week, and they all had cruisers behind them).
Until the state gets some street lights through out the city I was in (as well as some bits of the highway), all my questions will remained unanswered, I suppose. I will continue to let my mind wander as my music teases me into a haunting submission, and hope that someone finally answers my call.
There is one main thing that I'm still curious about: "Where the fuck did Monday go?"
Pictures, or it doesn't count:
All photos taken with an iPhone 5S.
Video or it doesn't count:
Video shot on an iPhone 5S.
Music © David Bowie, ★.
Edited on Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate