ROUTE 66

You can't just use and then throw away. You can't hide what once was. What you can do is build a faster and bigger road next to Route 66 and pretend that what was never existed, hope that drivers look ahead and never sideways.

As a touring musician I've traveled across America several times. What starts off as being one of the most romantic journeys in the world becomes - through endless repetition - a strange blend of boredom and straight interstates. When you have a gig in Fort Worth and one in Vegas everything in between becomes a mass of dust, rocks, gas-awareness and time. There is no other way to put this. It's sad, but it's also what happens with just about everything.

The first time I drove across America - going from New York City to Los Angeles - I felt like I was right behind the greatest heroes of the beat generation: Kerouac breathing in the wind, the dirty shirts of poets that cared for nothing but everything. As time passed I begun to recognize bridges, know travel stop employees by name, and I started searching sideways. I knew the road ahead far too well not to look for an alternative vista. 

What I found was the visual epitome of the pain that comes with the passing of time. No good trying to be the best Buddhist possible and showcase detachment, there's nothing one can do to defeat the bitter bite of decay. Decay smells like dust and works its way through a paper-cut on your skin, crawls right into your veins and flows into your system. Decay gives you a momentary high but sinks your heart into your chest.

Route 66 today is America. America uses metal and turns it into scrap. America uses and sometimes forgets. America moves forward and doesn't always clean up the mess.

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