I have always loved road trips, train rides, flights — any travel scenario with a view out the window, affording a thick slice of time for daydreams to unravel in a captive seat.
When I was little, I used to cherish the three-hour drive from home to my aunt and uncle’s house each Thanksgiving. I would plug in my headphones and listen to the same songs on repeat on my hot pink iPod Mini — before that, it was CDs via Walkman, when Walkmen still existed — while watching the scenery swoosh past like a wet oil painting.
I would pretend that I was in a movie. I visualized a camera zoomed in on my musing face while I played out my internal monologue in my head.
It was like a game, imagining life cropped into short, sweet scenes, set to a self-selected soundtrack. In film form, any mood could be contorted to a mellower rendition, captured in recognizable cliches, and toned to match a chosen tune.
But the game always ended the second the car stopped. When the car stopped, life began again: with all of its messy jolts and sloppy spontaneity, sans styling or cropping or background music.