I took familiar roads; the routes I once used to drive to Kings Mountain and Belmont, North Carolina. The drive averaged 30 to 45 minutes depending on which former textile town I was driving to. I turned on the radio and changed stations. In the age of iPods and iPads, I still have the unhealthy habit of changing radio stations.
Kenny Chesney, Guns ‘N Roses, Eric Church, Usher, Michael Jackson, Queen or almost any pop with a slight techno beat pump me up. I am the 26-year-old mom you see dancing like the white girl she is, because I still get nervous despite six years of experience interviewing people.
The time I spend in my car is when words don’t have to make sense. I don’t have to know them. I just need to shake out nervous energy.
On Wednesday morning—my third road trip for freelance work this week—my son woke up with vomit in his bed. My husband said he would stay home for the morning, and I’d return after my two scheduled interviews to go to the doctor with Charles. I turned the radio on loud.
Perfect music for a 16-year-old girl going through her first break up; an 18-year-old who realizes a one night stand is a one night stand; or a guy who is trying to change his ways played all over the radio Wednesday morning. I could not find anything with a beat. I looked up at the indigo blue and gray filled sky and wondered What was going on with the radio stations today? If I thought too much into those songs, I would go buy some whiskey, pour a shot, and throw the empty glass at a Justin Bieber poster.
A drive helps clear my head whether I’m taking Charles to the park, or on my way to cover something. Cars drive by me. I wonder what is going on in their lives. Possible characters emerge, or I become a rock star in my semi private area.
Where do you go to clear your head? What do you do to calm your nerves before or after writing?