winter arrival to Paris at night after a long drive
61×50, oil on canvas
At a time I was doing long roads alone on a more or less regular basis. I am talking five hours drive, sometimes ten. A five hour drive along with someone needs less focus than doing it alone, because you can talk, give the wheel and take a rest, etc. When you're alone on the highway, the inside of the car tends to become the inside of your head. I wasn't exactly driving a brand new car, so passing the gears demanded a bit of tonus, and you had to really hold the wheel past 110 kmh. A lot of functions did not really functioned, such as the air conditioning or the driver window. You could play only Compact Discs, which you couldn't change while driving, and I wouldn't continually waste time to stop and put another one. So I spent hours in the cabin on the same eight or nine songs desesperately looping. Some of them still triggers to me now, at the first notes, the exact body tension I used to feel during these drives. But O gods ! Have I loved that car. I noticed that, past several hours, I wasn't really a driver anymore. I had become the organic part of a blind mechanical system, I was constantly reading and analyzing the environment through the needs of the machine. I had fallen into a world of white bordered lanes, brute keywords on road signs, and aggressive light signals, mostly red, and sometimes green, orange or even blue. The red signals were directly triggering the watchfulness in my reptilian brain, while I was constantly decyphering traffic patterns. And as I grew weary from the drive, widened the gulf between the centaurus made of steel and blood that I was now, and the man I once had been - a man who had known the kindness of love, and smiled at the soft touch of sun on his skin. Well, we'll see to that as soon as I get rid of that bunch of wankers blocking my way, where the hell did they learn to drive, with grandma in the yard ?