Driving at night is not always good. Sometimes the lights of other cars is blinding. Sometimes the traffic jams and the sea of red brake lights can give you a headache. Having nothing on the radio can only make this worse. I could make a playlist, but I kind of like the randomness of the radio.
Last night, I made the west to east journey across the bottom and the virtually perpendicular northward journey up the east side of Toronto. The views were just like those shots you see in movies that they use to convince that it’s New York or Chicago despite the fact they probably filmed it in a completely different city–often Toronto. Though it may have looked like stock footage, it had it’s own beauty. It was a Perfect Moment.
I left just as the sun was going down and hit the highway on-ramp just in time for the fiery ball to extinguish itself in my rear view mirror. The radio was playing a “totally 80” theme that had Quiet Riot mixed with Sinead O’Connor, mixed with the Beastie Boys. The road was not as empty as it was a few months ago, but considering they were playing hockey in Toronto and I was going to pass the arena, it wasn’t bad at all.
Sometimes, when you watch movies, the scenes from car windows driving along the road take on an unreal quality–sometimes surreal if that is what the director is looking for. I came across a building that featured a top floor brilliantly lit in purple behind translucent glass. Could it be a club or a restaurant? Is it a gym that wants to put everyone’s workout shadow on display? I really couldn’t guess, but I thought it was beautiful how it was the only solid pink thing in a skyline full of dark blues and dark shadows.
There were other scenes too. I watched motorcycles–one sleek Japanese machine and one loud Harley–dueling up the road. Neither rider acknowledged the other. I saw an ice-cream truck lumber along the road, no music playing and no customers anywhere in sight. Reading the Watch For Children sign on the back just doesn’t have the same significance.
My drive concluded with Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride. It seemed so fitting.