2020 Year Enders, Arts & Culture

2020 Drives w/ Lily Janover

The artist and musician takes on a trip through favorite drives of the year.


Massachusetts to New Orleans was the first drive and it could have been the last. Alas, a limo proved heavy enough to feel safe while stretching in the stretch as the driver drives.

The next big ride was in the same car. An auspicious moon, and once I start questioning the moon I know something is strange, and hitting a dog! Johnny Cash and I are stuck in the mud before I’m awake and stuck in the mud again. Houses built on clay kind of dirt while fishing and singing through the sun to dry it out, and still needing a ride since my Chevrolet has been sitting pretty through the New England winter. The road can ease the pain like Townes says, keep you “free and clean,” if you stick to it like hot glue.

So next I’m moving towards the back of my own truck. A ride to Jackson in a fever, to the car rental for my first, and now I can say for certain, final rental car of the year. Pushing to get all of these pots and fish bones up North. The price was right and I could steer it differently now, perhaps with less speed and more Walmart stops. However, that’s not the ride i’m talking about, because I’m referring to rides that actually happened, and this one was quick.

But New York state was waiting for me and the only place Chevrolet and I went in the month of April, finally reunited and building a bed in the bed out of an old raft is like swimming or drowning in the upper air spaces of the topper. Well I made it too high and my knees can’t bend when I’m just rested and it creeks because I’m not acquainted with antiquated wood or when to screw versus nail. It’s beautiful though because I did it and building something feels akin to driving on the highway, like my body is already out West.

Knitting in Nebraska, Wyoming, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, San Fransisco. Butter Creek rocks under my feet. Big Slide I know you’re not mine. Stools made so we can all have a place to sit when we are outside of a small truck or giant van. The legend of the bell of Goat Rock, still rings, sings. Where is this dirty road taking me. To alpine lupine and orchids untouched. Parking lots are still my favorite places even after being ticketed overnight and saying goodbye to my love. Finding the best spot is when I feel nearly invisible with fabricated shade and a sweet concrete corner. Apple Orchard or Valley airport, Big Bear – German car stories, another walk, building a house, talking cars, back in the car, talking land, talking down by the river. Rocks, rocks, rocks, poison ivy problems, naturally, evidently, closely, hardly. “Love in the valley, love in their dreams.”

I know why I drive logistically but i still don’t know why. Maybe because Chevrolet was so good to me that I had to get back in, and keep driving while i’m ahead. To Massachusetts, Ohio way station, Tennessee green, throw a ship on to Montana, and was going to be California again on his birthday. Its fine and sometimes it feels like the only thing I can do is to keep moving my hands around this wheel, while my ties are unconditional, tires new, and isolation ideal. I’m lucky to be alive after all of this driving in contestable lanes. Of course we never broke down just one new alternator at the right time and some oil changes, but i’m tired now and can’t count the miles. I can recount how unimportant measurement felt, and how important reflection is especially while driving, to continually check your traces and your mirrors.

The best drive was the last big one from Helena, MT to Athens, OH. I figured out that the bed should be flat on the bed, which was an easy-to-come and most important realization. Lay low and your Chevy s(mall)10 is perfect for yourself on a long trip. Also, it’s within reach to consistently find a place to rest night after night and to get there pre dusk with maybe even enough time to heat up dinner before it gets dark. A beer and a book and a breeze and a comfortable spot to sleep.

hear some of Lily’s music!


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