Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

What is missing from my life right now is  §

the road. I haven’t been on it in a while. No, living in New York is not “the road” or “travel” despite the fact that I just got here. I am talking about missing the essence of travel—the movement, the dirt, the uncertainty, the passage of time.

I had, I suppose, grown accustomed to road tripping in a serious way at least once a year. The last attempt at this was Alaska, but the “road” part of that “road trip” lasted scarcely a couple of days before the “stuck in Canada” part kicked in.

Days and nights on the road in my car, for hours on end, seeing the world, large and beautiful and not at all in need of me. That’s what I miss. That sensation that you feel when you know that you are lost to everyone and everything, and you are an observer in a privileged position outside of reality: nobody can see you, but you can see everything.

It’s been too long. If my car was here right now, I’d hit the road and drive and drive and drive to nowhere in particular. I need to get out of the eastern seaboard. I need to get out of urban eastia. I suppose that’s also a component of “what I miss” tonight: remoteness. I am from a remote place, even though it is a reasonably large city. Around it in all directions stretches the desert, for hundreds of miles, and above it stretches the wild mountains, for thousands and thousands of feet. It is easy there to escape into some kind of transcendence.

The beauty, and the sadness, of a place like New York is that you are never alone and are always a part of things. At times, it makes living worthwhile. At other times, it makes the worthwhile seem very, very far away.

I miss things tonight. Maybe for the first time in five years I miss the little apartment I once shared on the east side of Salt Lake City. I miss my car, and I miss the free soda at eBay. I don’t know what else I miss. The possibilities that lie on the other sides of the bridges that I’ve burned, and on the other sides of bridges that I burn every day and that I am about to burn. And also my youth, I guess.

Yeah, that’s it. I miss my youth. Time in general. I miss every lost present, because some of them I loved very much.