If that philosophical “god-like” figure from up above looked down at me this past week, this is what he would have seen; a young woman in a small car on the highway racing parallel to a delicious fairy-floss coloured sky, her heart pounding in sync with the souls she shared her company with, their hearts too beating to this unexplainable magical drum. She had sand imprinted on her skin and coffee running through her blood. She felt alive.
If you do not like those cliche hollywood movies where a bunch of rowdy millennials pack their shit into a car, take themselves on a road trip, and give their musical lungs a good workout- then I ask you to quietly close this browser now. On the chance that you do, (we’d get along great), prepare yourself for a glorified and romanticised run down of my life last week. I like to think of my friendships as matchsticks creating sparks – each fire is always different.
Bright and early I set my GPS up, packed a bag of beach essentials, and headed off to meet a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I always remember how I met someone – first impressions are forever tattooed in my mind – as well as the increments stages of when our relationship began to grow. Rhiannon has always been very forward in movement and sudden in speech. She grabs and hugs your arm without second thought, and will start randomly shrieking with excitement when a distant thought comes back to mind – that’s exactly what I love about her. For me, talking to Rhiannon is like communicating with myself in front of a mirror. We often have to scream at each other to stop talking because of how freakishly parallel our minds are. Our thoughts grow from the same stem, our ambitions are shooting for the same goal post, and our personalities dance together in partnership.
So here we ventured in her little car off to the Gold Coast where we devoured bowls of salad, drooled over shoes in shop windows and each read in silence as we got lost in $20 books that we spontaneously sought out and bought. We caught up on months of missed conversation and shared the love of our favourite musical artists. You could have put us on a never-ending road and I don’t think we would have even noticed nor cared. With Rhiannon you feel like time is never enough. However, as dawn set on us and we said goodbye I felt completely content with the day that went by, and the person who I spent it with.
Thursday & Friday’s Fire
I’ve been waiting to describe these two days to someone; I want to tell the person in the car next to me about this trip as we wait for the red light to turn green. I want to tap the shoulder of the girl in front of me in the coffee line and say, “Hey I don’t know you but let me tell you about this cool road trip I went on”. Most of the people I had met on this trip I didn’t even know, and if I did – I still didn’t know very well. This year I made a promise to myself to try swimming in a pool of the unknown, where my comfort and familiarity was pushed away far beyond sight or touch. So here I found myself agreeing to a very spontaneous and random two-day road trip that featured a car full of two Australian’s and two Texans. The first moments of the day featured awkward introductions, small talk and the classic cultural queries of ‘How do you say Nikon in America?’ and ‘What is it like going to college?’.
But as the buildings soon melted into mountains and the mismatched colour of shops and windows converged to the colour green, the energy in the car changed too. We fed our curious minds at Montville’s antique stores, relaxed inside Poet’s Cafe, and mused over the paintings in the villages art gallery’s. Soon after swimming and having dinner on the beachfront at Maroochydore, night-time came to say hello. Sometimes the only way to appreciate a person, a place, or even a moment; is to step back and watch from a distance. So, with the addition of two more friends that we picked up on the way, we watched the lights of the city below us, as the lights from the sky watched us.
The next day after refuelling on sleep and breakfast, the little car took to the road once more, its destination this time crossing the border of NSW, Byron Bay. The car no longer held a group of strangers, and you could almost have sworn that we had all known each other for longer than one day. What some may think as a burden or true unluckiness, we saw as an experience. We were granted with the fortunes of pouring rain for they only led to us sticky and laughing, huddled together for cover in a tiny covered shack. Traffic delayed us and placed us bumper-to-bumper with the other travellers, but it only meant that we were lucky enough to see the sun go to sleep, and to hear the music play a little more. We smiled to the songs we had remembered from young and drummed to the classics that bonded us all together.
As I crawled into bed that night I felt so grateful for the small pleasures in life that cannot be bought or sold, but are rather exchanged and created. For someone who thrives on the thoughts and solitude of myself, it felt different to feel a sadness and craving for other peoples presence. Maybe it’s because I know I won’t see them again for a very long time, or perhaps because spontaneity is something that slowly becomes harder to grasp when you’re older with responsibilities. However, for the time that it lasted it was a real dream; a flash of magic.
A small private (well as private as you can get on a blog), and personal word to Kinley and Becca; I may not know what your favourite colour is, or what your favourite subject was at school, but what I do know is that those little moments inside that car was raw, unmasked and completely real. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed so much that tears drip from my face and hopefully in the near future the universe will place us in the same continent once again. But until then I say good luck for all your personal endeavours and journeys, and I know that wherever life takes you this year will be a complete exciting, scary and amazing adventure. To the boys of the trip – your friendship with each other is something extraordinary to witness; you care beyond and beneath the surface of being “just a mate”, and more so as people who are actually invested and involved in each others personal lives. You are all seriously the warmest, welcoming and most friendliest guys I know.
And that pretty much sums up the past week I had experienced. But, before I go I must ask one more thing of you reader.
Right now in this very moment I plead with you to express an immense gratitude and recognition to the close friends you have, or maybe even to the ones that you have just met. Time is not something you can run from, it is something you run with. It will never truly be on your side so grab it by the hand and go with it. Send a simple message, a letter or the best surprise yet – your physical presence.
Go create sparks.
One thought on “Matchsticks”
I must say great post. The Alchemist is my favorite book and Coelho is great writer !