Night Drivers (Exit McGowen)

June 11, 1999


By the way the rain falls I can tell my timing is right. The season springs into full bloom and surrounding tropics heed the wails of a familiar siren. My senses have been awake since 5 a.m. and as the night persistently proceeds, I continue watching as the storm rolls in. Outside I take pleasure in the gaining strength of a gathering wind. Goosebumps invade my exposed skin but lights from the sprawling city warm my fat-free frame. Something in the air other than a smoggy haze of fear beckons me to flee and seek higher ground within crowded establishments downtown. A member of the herd, or so I’m led to believe, is a safe position to keep when threatening changes in an otherwise stable atmosphere occur. Among gothic, modern-day vampires feeding off overly accessible hallucinogens, trend-setting hoppers only in attendance to show face, and modernized hippies reciting Ginsberg and claiming fame, I witness my transformation. The very mouth that learned and preached such useful philosophy contradicts conversations about resisting the pull of conformity and avoiding the makings of a clone. Living as a non-traditional member of society has become mainstream. Everything has been done. We are in a time of information overload where originality is rendered an endangered species – broken borders render me another nameless face. What have I got to lose?

McGowen passes under a shallow bridge and empties off onto a narrow strip of corroded concrete that is way too busy for construction. Seldom do I grace this fast-paced scene for fear that to venture outside of my confining borders would bring disastrous results, but tonight I caught a vibe and acted on instinct. Tonight the air was right and my spirit was possessed by cycles of nature brewing the unexpected. Newfound wisdom was waiting for me at the doors and paid my cover charge with a wink. Feed off insecurities and laugh at sweat beads as they pollute your brow. If we are not lost we cannot be found and with this on my side I was instantly glorified. Riding the freeways after dark is an enjoyable pastime, but leave your road map at home.


Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist