As I alluded to in my previous post I am now a regular and constant fixture on the cities’ public transportation. That’s all well and good, but today I witnessed something that made me long for the days of driving. As I was crossing the street a car pulled up to the stop sign, as I looked inside to gauge whether or not the driver would roll through or allow me to pass, I saw her singing and doing a little head bobbing. She stopped upon seeing me notice her and I couldn’t help but smile a little. Seeing this made me miss the days of the car-rock-out.
There is something about driving along and listening to some catchy beats that I sorely miss. I think it has to do with being in that special zone, that driver’s bubble. A time when despite the fact you are surrounded by windows, you feel as though you’re alone. I always hear horror stories of long commutes to and from work, but I always enjoyed those moments (admittedly I always had relatively short drives, if I was say coming in from Surrey everyday I would probably want to ram my face through a plate glass window).
When I was driving I always felt a certain calm, I enjoyed that time as a little me time. A few minutes when I could think about whatever and hopefully get in some solid car-dancing and it really didn’t matter what I was rocking out to. That is the great thing about a solid driving bubble rock-out. I could through down a wicked drum solo on the dashboard while listening to the Chili Peppers or belt out to the world how much of a Firework I am.
For whatever reason as soon as I was in that little imagined world of privacy I was a rock star. Sure, every once and a while I would get busted and feel a little sheepish, but there is usually very little judgment from other motorists. And one of my favourite things to do when busted was to try and get whoever saw me to sing along. I know when I see someone having a drive-time dance party and they’re really getting into it, I’m a little jealous. I’m curious as to what they’re listening to and hardly ever think less of them, actually I usually think more – except that one time a couple months ago when I saw a guy in a honkin big pickup cranking Hootie, come on? Hootie?
I’m not sure what it is, but there is some strange magical force that takes over when sitting behind the steering wheel. I don’t for a second think about what I’m singing or how ridiculous I might look doing the Sprinkler at a red light. But this only seems to happen in the car. I no longer drive but I still listen to music all the time. My Ipod is a steady accessory, but I rarely have a walking-down-the-street rock-out.
I came close the other day while crossing the street at Broadway and Macdonald. I was mid crosswalk and listening to a song called Livin’ In The Future by the Boss, when the late great Clarence Clemons chimed in with a bad-ass sax solo. I had a hard time suppressing my urge to give a Michael Jackson inspired leg kick and air-sax my way across the street. If you’re familiar with the work of Clemons you’ll understand, if not I strongly suggest you give him a listen.
I suppose there would have been nothing wrong with a little dancing in the streets, but I felt restrained. As though my actions would have been viewed as those of a spacey weirdo instead of a dope guy having a blast, which is how I think I may have been received had I been driving. Which I guess again speaks to that magic force that arises when sitting at the wheel. Strangers seem to recognize that special zone, a common bond amongst those who need a few moments of spontaneous jamming. When otherwise normal folk feel the right to be completely silly and good for them. If only there were more times when it was acceptable to cut loose and act the complete fool the world might be a better place. However, that might diminish the specialness of the driver’s bubble.