Roll Back The Time

Jim Sullivan loaded up his entire life into that dinky Volkswagen. Everything he loved was packed inside, and without a word, he drove into the desert. As he drove, he contemplated turning on the radio and letting the music ease his mind. Instead, he rolled the window down and listened to the chirping birds and singing crickets. He squinted as he travelled, the glow of the setting sun reflecting directly into his eyes from the rearview mirror.

It was indicative of his entire existence; he was never able to clearly see what was going on around him, the bright lights of L.A. blinding him to his purpose and disorienting his sense of internal balance. It’s not that anything was necessarily wrong, it was simply that nothing was right. He needed a change. He needed to get away from the cacophony of the music scene. The California way of life was all he had ever known, and nothing about it was fulfilling. Beneath all the glam and shine, nothing flourished except addiction and decay.

He had tasted the finer things in life, and he had been given the opportunity to pursue what he believed to be his dreams. In the end, he realized that he had been deceived, both by the world and by his own mind, into thinking that he could find what he was looking for in “the Scene.” Instead, all he found was a miasma of emptiness.

For a short time, he found himself burdened by depression, knowing that there was more to life than what he was seeing. His perception changed rather quickly, as he came to the conclusion that being tied down by his own mind was no way to live. He needed to free himself of all chains, of everything that kept him enslaved and encumbered.

So it was that he loaded up his clothes, his money, his records, and, the thing most dear to him, his guitar. He packed into the car and simply started driving, with no destination in mind. After the sun set, he pulled over and checked into a hotel in Santa Rosa. He could not bring himself to sleep though, and he paced the room for several hours before the wanderlust and the thirst for the horizon overcame him once more. He tossed his room key on the bed and hit the road once more.

Sullivan drove all night, lost so deeply in thought that he nearly slipped off the road a few times. He contemplated life, the universe, and what it meant to be human. He mulled over how, underneath all the hate and destruction that the human race carries with them, they have the capacity to be good, creative, and inventive. They, of all creatures in the world, have the propensity to take their surroundings and improve them, to make them truly wonderful.

This thought brought him hope and, to a certain extent, happiness. He knew that somewhere deep inside him was the innate ability to create something glorious. With just a drop of initiative, he could build himself a life worth living.

The sun eventually rose slowly from its slumber, lazily casting its gaze over the quiet landscape. In that instant, Sullivan knew that the time had come. He pulled over on the side of the road and shut off the vehicle. He sighed and ran his hands over the steering wheel. This hunk of shaped steel had carried him as far as it needed to, and now it was time for him to proceed without his trusty steed.

He slowly stepped out onto the gravel and shut the door. He looked up into the sky, basking in the reds and oranges of the dawn. The final few stars twinkled their last and snuffed out like candles, overpowered by the strength of the day star. The sight brought him a strange warmth and comfort.

He began to walk away from the car, leaving everything behind, taking nothing with him, into the open sands. Bathed in the growing sunlight, he entered this new world as a new man. No one ever saw Jim Sullivan again.

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