54 Miles to Empty


It seemed I’d been driving down the proverbial highway of my life; eighty-five miles per hour, conditions were fair, my windshield was devoid of mashed gnats and the freshly laundered air traveled through my window in gusts that pelted the top of my seatbelt. One hand on the wheel, the other fumbling for a station on my Pioneer, I just drove. That is, until recently. Now my windshield is smeared with innards, my stereo is playing fuzz, and my engine is in dire need of an overhaul.

I’ve always been passionate about the open road and I like to travel alone. Just me with my stereo cranked up, my timber off-key, perhaps a bag of sunflower seeds, a cup of java, and three or more packs of cigarettes (to give me that Joan Jett effect.) However, I noticed a few months ago that my treks were becoming less and less enjoyable. I can’t really blame the Pioneer, my am/fm CD player has been trustworthy for the last 163,742 miles. It is what’s coming out of those 50 watt speakers that’s vexing me and lately those same melodies have followed me into the grocery store, my place of employment, even the gas station. I’m talking about love songs and they’ve made me question such utterly deep issues that it’s as if I’ve moved from merely checking my oil to taking apart the most detailed part of my engine. Read more