The Dashboard

This post is from July 27, 2005 after completing a tour across the country.  It’s interesting to read this now while I wrestle with having the desires to tour again.


It is Wednesday. After 8000+ miles of travel, I am back at home. And yes, it’s lonely out there. Same roads, same songs. New places, new faces. No place foreign, but all things new.


Sometimes I think it’s my body that takes most of the beating from the endless touring, when in fact, it may actually be the dashboard of my car. Whether I’m venting my frustration (aloud to myself), enduring for hours on end my CD players belching, my talking to myself in quiet tones, braving the enigma that is modern radio, or the vast silence of radial tires humming for hours on end. The dashboard is a slave to the turning wheel, which is, in turn, a slave to me. They go where I bend them. In good running order they will succumb quietly. Aside from that, their submission is not so peaceable.


If only dashboards could talk… What would mine say about me? It’s seen me laugh hysterically with my friends, seen me pick my nose, seen me dry my tear-filled eyes, watched me eat scores of grilled steak soft tacos, heard me rant and rave about the lack of quality radio, heard me pray, heard me swear like a proud sailor, and seen me humble as a mouse. Were it possible, all the incriminating evidence a judge and jury would ever need to convict me of the “crime”of Insecurity could be wrested from the endless dials and knobs of plastic and metal moulds that comprise this dashboard. But it knows no better. It is a slave in the masters hand. It goes where its masters will bends it. It knows no rebuke, no rebellion, no angst. It bears me where I willingly go that I may bare my soul; sometimes into a lions den. I am a $34-a-night musical prostitute, willing to give all that is dear and within me for an on-the-house meal and some gas money. I am no saint for doing it. The dashboard can tell you that I am most assuredly not.


Is it worth the miles? The money? Worth the endless cycles of knock down, drag out fights within myself and worth the dashed hopes within my own soul? Probably not. But is it worth gleaning an ounce of respect from an audience of 10? Is it worth offering a moment, if only brief, of edification? Worth receiving that moment of edification? You bet. But just like the odometer, ask me that tomorrow and I may have changed my mind.