Iâ€™ve been in a brewing stench of a mood the last few days. All is dour, Iâ€™ve no will to clean, or eat and Iâ€™d like to hibernate for a month but I canâ€™t sleep kind of mood. Anyway, today I had to drive out up the Hume Hwy for work. Once I finally made it past the stop-start clutter of Sydney Rd and hit the low stretched industriaplex past Fawkner, I felt the world begin to open up a little and the raw tang of possibility rise in my gut again. What would happen if I just kept driving â€“ all the way to Queensland. Head north for the winter like I used to do. The heavy weave of the oversized trucks on either side of me was a familiar rhythm. The long empty space of a journey rolled out ahead in the predictable bitumen format of straight lines and right angle turns.
I’ve had a long love affair with motion. I find it calming. Going somewhere, going anywhere. The destination doesn’t matter, its the suspension of time in that state between places that I find so addictive. In this condition of future oriented in-betweeness I can relax in knowing that the motor has assumed full responsibility for propelling me forwards. The need to progress in life, the relentless pressure to produce myself in goal-directed form, is momentarily abated.
It struck me today, as the road worked its wonders on my mood, that I would not be able to indulge this habit for much longer. The petrol slugging speed, the wafting diesel and the cycling piston harmonies of fellow travelers blending with my own steady drone, might soon be gone.
Faced with scarcity, the extent of my addiction is revealed. Despite a principled allegiance to the carbon cutting measures required to fight the global warming battle, I find myself to be deeply ambivalent about the end of the oil age. Politically incorrect as it may be, I am a creature of my time. I love the roadside grime, the gritty industrial landscape and each fleeting trigger of Bangkok from a passing bus exhaust. Most importantly, I need the speed. I need each cylinder suck on the history of the living world – your carbon to mine – to steal a few breaths on the future. Where else will I get the time?