Feeling mildly out-of-sorts, I took a drive in the convertible. Since it was raining gently all day long, I took a drive in the convertible with the top up, water leaking onto my thigh for the first few miles. The route was unplanned, and I wound up on the back roads of Williamson county: hilly and wooded, with virtually no traffic because, I presume, the holiday and the rain kept everyone home or on their vacations.

I like this, since it makes it easier to pretend I’m the only one out there for a while. My reflexes and vision stay with the road, but the higher functions of my mind go for a wander.

Lynnwood Way is the first road to take me somewhere different. The color of the man-made cliffs fills my vision — I know I’m still on Lynnwood Way, but the light feels like sunset on a clear day, as if the clouds and rain are suddenly gone.

Coming around a bend on North Berrys Chapel Road, I’m driving down an idealized road in northern Ontario in the summer. The weather is cool there, the light polarized by the latitude, the colors soft green and orange, the vegetation away from the road soft and marshy. I have no schedule, no destination, no worries. Just exploring new territory and feeling the climate there, new yet familiar.

Burke Hollow Road is where the real teleportation begins. I’m in east Tennessee riding around a mountain bend, then I pass a clearing and see fog enveloping the hills and I’m in Virginia, high in the Appalachians. The road narrows and a dirt road veers away, and I’m following the back roads atlas down a treacherous, rutted switchback, on a motorcycle not designed for such miscalculations. I shake my head a bit to get back on the pavement.

A deer is stopped in the road and it’s dusk on the Blue Ridge Parkway, over twelve years ago. Back in the present, I stop, waiting for the other deer to cross, as I know they will. I warn an oncoming car to slow down in case the fawn decides to cross the road to return to her parents.

I’m on all the narrow, rural roads I’ve ever seen in the rain, always in a good mood, never concerned with schedules or responsibilities.

By the time I stopped to refuel and have lunch, the spell was broken. I reversed course, and Burke Hollow and North Berry’s Chapel were normal, enjoyable roads in Williamson county. The car fought the wet roads in the curves, I corrected for a mistake or two and got a kick of adrenaline for punishment, and I found my way back into the city.

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