Posted: August 11, 2013 by Zachary in October 2010

RoadtripThe most valued “road trip” possession I own was never mine to begin with.  It’s a stolen possession – never meant for me and, as I am skilled in my sins, never known to its creator as missing.

As time would (always) have it, it’s now also a relic of a time gone by.

It’s a CD.  At one time regarded as the evolution of a “mix tape,” this CD contains a careful selection of 24 folk-y, whimsical tunes.  No names auto-populate into iTunes when it’s tossed into my laptop.  The artists are largely forgotten to both the old and the young – it’s an obscure collection known to a particular age group.  And, save for their 15 minutes of fame, these artists were really only the admired of a select few.  To be honest, I don’t think I could even tell you who they are.

The disk’s surface is blank, with only the demarcation Fav’s scrawled in black felt marker.  And when I put it into a CD-player, I know three things:

1)  I cannot remember for the life of me what’s on it.
2)  I’m going to enjoy the next 24 songs
3)  I’ll have my best friend beside me.

The first time I encountered this CD was in the passenger-side seat of my friend’s car, driving a road-trip across the province.  He opened his glove compartment and there lay 7 or 8 CDs.  All labeled in his perfectly enigmatic hand:  Folk, Laid-Back, Jazz, Home….  We listened through them all, including Fav’s.  I can’t say that there was anything that stood out about this CD more than others.  He certainly didn’t covet it more than the others, suggesting that its name was a category of a bygone time.  But we listened to it just the same.

Now, years later, having been through road-trips, jobs, living situations, and a litany of other experiences together, we’ve parted ways.  Of course, we live in a world where “parting ways” is a ridiculous sentiment.  Social media, smart-phones, and cheaper-than-ever transportation ensure that we’re never really separated.  We’re together at the click of a button (and an overpriced internet package).

But, that same media has a single shortcoming – it can only help us fill in the future.

On a road-trip, one is reminded of the stoicism, longevity, and raw, rich beauty of the world around us.  And that beauty is a generation of its history.  It is certainly a reminder of the grandiose importance of existence – of our generating new memories and new experiences.  (Indeed, that’s the very nature of a road-trip!).  But if someone is really watching the scenery in between watching the traffic, they cannot help but be impressed upon by the sheer beauty filled in by those experiences long since passed.

24 tracks of my favourite friend.  Our past.  Our history.

I live in prized countryside.


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