DRIVE - season ii. ep 2: Long Time Leaving. (john Trimble)
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

long time leaving

Have you ever looked at the stars? – when you can see them – you know you really should.
When you.... look at the stars shining – like rain beads on a cob-web, glass on a highway.

When did I get so poetic?

Could be the drugs I suppose – effecting neurological processes, functions.
I read about a fella once – in a book by that... Sachs, Oliver Sachs, I think he wrote the book. The other man – I don’t remember his name, he said:

“My brain is on fire.”

He had been asleep – and they woke him up, suddenly. He’d been sleep, sleeping siickness, yes but – they woke him, quite suddenly... and he could move and talk and read and write, think, create... and he was, well he was just great at all these things. After all that time. And then – he couldn’t stop – do you know? He was – “my brain is on fire” – and he begged the doctors till they stopped his treatment and he – he just – he went back to sleep.

That’s all I remember – it IS funny, the things you remember – I just don’t really remember anything much before the pills.

No, no, actually that’s not true of course – I remember the waking up, I remember when I woke up.
Lying in the back of a car. Of all the places! Lying in the back of a car. Sick. Dying. Lying in the back of a car – and looking at her... looking at my daughter.

She had just woken me up.

She was talking about the stars (have you ever looked at the stars? We used to look at the stars, my daughter and I...) – and she was talking about us – and she was cracking wise at herself, “Oh, that was sooo... lame”, - and she was sliding into the front seat of the car – and she was getting ready to drive.

We were entering the race. I had wanted to race. Very unexpected of me. My demonstration of the uncertainty principal. Well, I thought that racing would - wake me up... but I was wrong. The race didn't wake me up. She did. My daughter. I was lying in the back of the car and I was looking at my daughter.

And I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. Not all the – not even the damn stars.

And we’re racing still.

But... not for much longer now. I was wrong. It's wrong. It's all been wrong - and I'm sorry, I'm really... sorry, about that.

You can’t carry a sick man over the finish line.

You shouldn’t be expected to.

Now you won’t have to.


Look at the stars shining – like rain beads on a cob-web, glass on a highway.

Have you ever thought about life?

No, no I mean it – no, I’m not drunk – I’m man enough – how would you kn – a few pills and a –
nevermind, the question is NOT am I drunk – the question is – have you ever thought about life?

It’s like the stars – no, no – I am, I’m serious – ok then, it’s like the cars on the highway. You could study the cars – like you study the stars. Sounds like kind of a song – doesn’t it. I used to sing to my daughter – when she was small. Nights I would come home – or more likely just, as she would say, “like, emerge” from the study. My daughter would be – should’ve been asleep – but I often think, I like to think – she was pretending, awake really and waiting on a song. I used to sing – oh, snatches of stuff – nursery rhymes, popular songs – never could remember a song all the way through. I don’t suppose it matters, it’s all about the voice – what the voice carries. Like a signal within it. The feeling. Not sure I knew the truth of that feeling – then – but I know I woke up to the fact that I loved mydaughter.

Cars – they circle in motion – like thoughts, or the voices you have in your head to keep you awake when you’re driving the... cars – they circle. Yes... kinetic energy – I’m a physicist you understand. The cars whip around the highway, like the planets in space – or the atoms in a reactor. All that energy generated. To what end? Where does all the energy go?

I don’t have any left now. I’m so tired.

Cars are bodies in motion.

My body is motionless now.

Cars move people – and they leave them move. I think they have a gravitational field – it bonds the car to the road and the driver to the car. That’s why – that’s the real reason why I never stopped driving. Never stopped racing. Beating the next car to a checkpoint – racing with strangers, complete strangers. Undignified – for a man of my years, my condition. A sick man – a dying man.

I wonder if molecules feel the same way – or stars. They’re all bodies. In flux, motion – under the influence of gravity – another bodys power. Bodies in proximity – can act... unpredicatably.

I dragged my daughter’s body from motel to motel. Through one seedy reception after another, across America (or what’s left of it) and then Europe (or what’s left of it). Father and daughter. Like some sexless version of Humbert and Lolita...

Yes – it did cross my mind. When you’re not driving – your mind fixes its point of rest in the most disorganized of ways. Undignified again. I would wake up in the mornings to the smell of her, like a rich spice – and warmth. Her laugh. And she was the woman in my life – no doubt. So... what responsible man wouldn’t question his motives.

But no, it was never like that. I’m a sick man. But my sickness is reasonable.

Did I just say that – think that? ‘Reasonable?’ Is it reasonable to corrupt a man’s body over time, to rob him of his, strength and standiing? Is it reasonable one day to decide to get up and join a race – and to keep racing – day after day – in a car through way station after way station – mile after mile – with a daughter, encouraged to join – and to feel it was her free will to do so?

No, not reasonable.

I have decided at last – to be responsible. To give something to somebody – for the first and only time. Sure, sure - money – but what’s money really – what does money do for my daughter? Violet gets... the chance to shop? Shop – that’s all the life she has right now – when she’s not with me. Shopping. I mean, that’s nothing. I helped give my daughter life – not, alone – I can give her maybe – a REAL chance for something, maybe – no more sickness, hobbling, sleeping in the afternoons, cots, coughing, time checks, medication – her freedom.

I know I was right – I could have tried doing this a million times and it would never have worked ... and now – bullseye! Home run! Eagle! The car handled like a dream – and no/one else and no blame.

Violet will wake up to freedom.

And me? Oh I get something too. Something beautiful. I get glass on the highway, rain beads on a cobweb. I get the stars.


There is a girl. There is a grave.

The girl has been looking at the grave, now she turns around. She goes over to her car and gets in. She hits the ignition and starts to





You must log in to post comments.