Its a warm spring night, sticky with humidity, and still air. And one memory is sticking out in my head. Sitting in the front seat of your old Volvo, the blue one that never wanted to start, with old James Taylor songs playing on the tape player, because the radio never worked, and besides, thats the music you've got to listen to on spring and summer nights. Going to Carolina in my mind, And Sweet baby James were always my favorites. You just don't get any better then James Taylor, not on those early summer nights. It just makes you think of the ocean and all the good things you have, none of the bad, and the good things, are always much better to think about. And I just remember, Summer was in the back seat, asleep with her head on Matt's chest and he was awake and starring out the open window, because the AC in the volvo never wanted to work either, And we were going to North Carolina. He didn't know I was watching him but I was, he was holding her and looking out the window with that far off look people get when they're with someone that makes them so happy, and they just feel like everythings perfect. And he was mouthing the words along with the song, whether he knew he was or not, and it had to be like 1am or midnight, and I just knew, he didn't want to be anywhere but here. Thats what it was like, the four of us. And we'd drive all night then get there at 5 AM and watch the sunrise on the beach. Summer shivering in the 60 degree weather because it was still early and she got cold easy and you putting your feet in the water, and joking around with Matt, while I just stared at the beauty of it all. We always went to the same beach, even though it was still closed that early and we had to jump the little metal gates they used to keep cars out at night, and leave the volvo parked on the street. And it was so beautiful because it was probably the only time of day the beach was empty, just us and the ocean. Its a weird realazation, when you put your feet in that this water goes all the way around the world. Connecting everyhitng together, just salt and sea. And we used to skip class on friday to get ready so we could leave earlier so we'd be there by saturday morning. Summer and me would duck out after English and jump into my little red jeep wrangler, and she'd wiggle out of her uniform and into jeans and a thrift store tee shrit while I drove, back then it wasn't 'Cool' to shop at thrift stores, but thats what she did, and thats why I loved Summer, the kids at our school wouldnt admit it, but they envied her style. And we'd drive to your house and leave my car there, we'd load up your Volvo with snack food and cassettes and get dinner at the same little cafe in town that we always did before we left, and then we'd be gone. It felt like freedom to just leave, not tell anyone and just be gone for the weekend, and we'd drive along, me staring at the moon and keeping you awake at the wheel. Thinking about how its those same stars, the same moon, same sky, all over the world, across the country in California and Colorado, they can see the same stars as we can here, in almost all the same places. And we'd get to the beach for sunrise, watching it come up over the ocean, then we'd stay on the beach all day, watching the tourists and me and summer playing in the waves, like little kids again, you tossing me in even though I hate to go under, I was scared of sharks, I was scared of everything back then, and we'd get some cheap motel that night, me and you cuddled up in one bed Summer and Matt in the other, then leave Sunday night, Summer asleep in the back seat Matt holding her and watching the world fly by his open window. Me and you, listening to Going to Carolina in my mind and Rock-a-bye Sweet Baby James, for the 6 hours it took to get home, those six hours never took too long, and we'd go to class monday, stumbling in sleepy and smelling of the ocean. And no one knew, it was our big secret. But it didn't matter. We were the king and queen of the highway, you and me, Matt and Summer our accomplices, slipping off into the night, off to North Carolina or West virginia or wherever your old blue Volvo would take us. And I love the glimmer of the highway road lights, yellow lines leading the way, the way the oceans smells, that salty breeze they wish they oculd capture in a candle scent, and the Virginia beach fireworks. I love mcdonalds cappuchinos, and keeping you awake at the wheel, so you didn't kill us all.
And I love the driving nights.