Monday, June 6, 2011

The Drive Home and Drives 20 Years Ago

Yesterday was long! The racing in Hagerstown for the USAC Mopar .25 at Hagerstown was fun to watch and somehow I was even dirtier than the photo I posted on Saturday, but for this post let's skip ahead to the drive home.

After a successful weekend in the flag stand, and many hours of complete concentration, I couldn't help but laugh at almost any humorous comment. The day started at 6:30AM and we left the track around 7PM. At around 8 we ate and afterwards my iPhone came out and we played Monopoly for three hours with me coming out on top avenging the crushing defeat Kyle gave me on Thursday.

Despite the tiredness I was feeling I was having an amazing time in the car. The hours passed and I tried to sleep to no avail and finally, FINALLY, and around 4AM we pulled into the USAC office where my car was parked. Soon afterwards I was on my way to my sister's house.

It was weird to drive by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as just a week prior around 300,000 people were there and now 16th street was empty. Not a soul was out and this gave me a reminder of what I used to do as a child.

I grew up in Indy and one of my favorite things to do with my dad was to ride around as he drove. Most times we would do one lap of Indy around I-465, but sometimes we'd go downtown. What did I like about this? Thinking back I remember I used to be deeply fascinated with street signs and business signs. Also, I was interested in how the world worked. Yes, that may sound odd, but I always wanted to know what it was like to be in dependant and be like all the other drivers of cars that I would see.

Riding around was something I think that was pivotal in my development, and as I passed Methodist Hospital I began to see a few cars. Some were heading downtown, and some were headed away. At 4:30 in the morning I could sense the impending transformation in the atmosphere. In a couple hours the stillness I was experiencing would be gone; the few cars would be replaced by many cars. The quietness would be replaced with the hustle and bustle of a busy city and yet, at 4:30, it was still and quiet. Those cars I saw were probably either leaving the night shift, or early risers headed to work. Perhaps it was being up for so long, but I got excited at seeing the moments before Indianapolis would go for still to life.

The rest of my ride was aggravating as the lights on Meridian were not helping out. I was tired and wanted nothing more than to go to sleep and I don't think I hit two lights in a row green.

As I neared the north side of Indy I once again remembered roads that my dad and I traveled when I was young.  I thought back to the days of when I wanted to be a part of the world and to be one of those random other cars. I never thought about how I used to feel and never really appreciated that I have become one of those cars. Maybe the allure of growing up is lost, but last night, and again, maybe it was that I was so tired, but last night I felt proud. My dream on those hour or so long car rides with my dad was to someday be part of the world and now I was.

At around 5AM I finally got to my sister's and I wasted no time in finding the bed and going to sleep. I did go to bed with a smile on my face as I remembered my former dreams and also realized that it have seemed like a waste of time all those years ago, but I know without a doubt that those evening rides with my dad helped me understand the world just enough to help me become who I am today.

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