I love driving.
I especially love driving at night on empty, well-lit roads. In those moments, it’s like the world belongs to me. I can speed up, and hasten the arrival of that wonderful moment where the roads start to look like home, or I can slow down a little and see the city lights recreating my world, step by step.
Here in my car, I feel safest of all. My car, my lights, my streets, my world.
And at night, it’s the best. Millions of houses and millions of lights shine onto the streets. Lonely cars and trucks drive down the road – they may not see home until daylight. There are times when I look out of the window at the long line of street lights curving away in the dark, and I forget where I am. I forget that I’m in a bus. I’m moving in the dark and all those lights are taking me home. For a very long moment, it no longer matters where home is. It no longer matters that this isn’t the N1 and that these aren’t my lights on my streets in my city. I see headlights and street lights and white lines on the tar, and I’m going home.
I want a word for the almost-home.
That point where the highway’s monotony becomes familiar
That subway stop whose name will always wake you from day’s-end dozing
That first glimpse of the skyline
That you never loved until you left it behind.
What do you call the exit sign you see even in your dreams?
Is there a name for the airport terminal you come back to,
I need a word for rounding your corner onto your street,
For seeing your city on the horizon,
For flying homewards down your highway.
Give me a word for the boundary
Between the world you went to see
And the small one you call your own.
I want a word for the moment you know
You’re almost home.