There’s a lot of buzz in social media culture about long night rides, their power, the joy they apparently bring men and women alike, but the consensus on forums like Snapchat is on a bit of a superficial level. Superficial, meaning that it just says “Long Night Rides,” with the heart-eyed smiley or praise-the-lord pair of hands.
We don’t get to go deeper, and although it may sound a little odd, there is more to it than just its apparent lure.
Especially in a time of shortened attention spans and minds aflutter, sustained concentration can be hard to come by. Long night rides, though, can serve as the catalyst for switching on your brain in a productive way your mostly not privy to 23 hours of the day. But this is not a brow-furrowing, sphincter-tightening concentration. It is more of a neat bob, like a buoy or a fishing line. It’s easy, lithe.
As light swims by from stoplights, restaurant signage and gas station beacons, it diffuses, spreads and splays as it hits your windshield and seems to be absorbed like thin mist into your skin. Once you yourself in the car realize this, your eyes loosen and your mind slackens, but in a way that is actually generative, not just lethargic. A sort of drained lucidity flushes through you, like the way waves pursue up a slanted shore.
Tall buildings loom now as whisperers of thought, as opposed to their harsh, daytime posture. It’s as if your mind is now free to bob from world to world, and the tiredness in your limbs disseminates into stretchiness.
There is not inclement thought. Your mind becomes as clear as the night’s thin, black sky, a sky glistening with little diamond chips, sharp, searing, but gaseous, adaptable, in business to make way for another crowning jewel.
So you may say what’s the point? All of this sounds like some ethereal gobbledygook, but my point is that these supposedly exhilarating night rides we see, hear about and scoff at, are actually quite productive, if you just let things be taken in as opposed to constantly shewed out.
Think on this: the road is like a deities’ smear. It tucks itself neatly under your tires as you steam along watching pale lights and livid neon. Music plays and seems to portend the rest of your life; each cry a cry of oracular vision not defined by its exactness, but by its panoramic vision.
It is only in this ship, this car, for a brief period, that worlds are encapsulated, cephalated and blown apart — built anew in short luster. It is in this certain darkness that your mind becomes a light.