I was so adrift in my stream of consciousness that I had not noticed how far I had ventured down Cantrell. I had effectively driven myself out of the city and into the winding road among the trees and wilderness. That was the simplicity of the Natural State; it only took fifteen minutes to abandon civilization and be enveloped by forests remaining intact, untouched by the destructive hand of man. Just before my displacement from civilization, there was a blending between rural and urban life. Sporadic shacks and small buildings in small clearings beside the road suddenly vanished until all that was in front of my eyes was the road with fading yellow paint on the single-lane highway and barriers of trees on either side.
This was one of the very few times I found myself on this specific stretch of highway and my first time alone was completely unplanned. There was a sense that I needed to turn around, but I was attracted to the unknown aspect of each curve in the road. A feeling of adventure engulfed me and I didn’t become aware of it until I felt myself smiling. It was silly to feel such a strong sense of adventure from this, but that reflected on just how mundane my existence had become. The self-reflection that had distracted me from my sense of direction led me here. If this was the reaction I had on a simple drive, I couldn’t begin to contemplate the giddiness that would overcome me if I actually possessed the mettle to go on a real adventure.
A real adventure was exactly what I needed. Saying I was in a rut would be a tremendous understatement; I was in a hole my father had started digging for me, then handed me the shovel and I attempted to find the other side of the Earth. A new start or at least a pause in my life would do me wonders, but that required courage, one thing I lacked. It was instilled in me from an early age that audacity was absent from my chemical makeup, but in the seclusion of that car away from everything that brought me comfort and security I found it in small doses.
My bravery was like a shot of liquor; miniscule and time-sensitive. I pulled over in the grass along the highway and turned around. It was time to go back. By the time I was moving back towards Little Rock, the city that possessed my mundane existence, the courage had dissipated. I searched for reassurance in the trees and in the winding asphalt that was the gateway to my newfound sense of adventure, but nothing came.
By the time I returned to civilization, any notion of adventure or audacity had disappeared. I remembered how it felt, but could not inspire myself to feel that way again. My drunkenness induced by courage and escapade was overtaken by soberness, with a hangover possessing the remnants of what I longed for and needed most.
I would have to be motivated to voyage and experience the open road. That motivation wouldn’t come from beautifying, dignifying language or pep talk, but rather from being consumed by the unremarkable life I led. Something would have to aggravate my mentality and anger me for me to take that step.
Driving aimlessly from muscle memory, I arrived back at the law office where I slaved away the majority of the past few years of my life. “There has to be more,” I said under my breath as I opened the dignified doors to the Ramsey Firm.