The car windows trembled disturbingly to the curling sounds of Willie Colon’s Talento de Televisión. Seeking to release some of the acoustic pressure, we pulled them down. But even then, we wanted more.
‘¡Súbele, Martin!’, Jorge shouted in his distinctive baritone voice. ‘Turn it up, Martin!’.
The wooden drums, the trombone and the maracas enlivened the highway. Their booming echoes turned it into something different than that which it was built for. Some kind of alternative world view where the sun is ever on your back and its soft morning light blends with an eternal song coming from that mysterious place you no longer know. But which is certainly not the car speakers.
Up to that point, we belonged to the sizeable group of travelers, common victims of diligence, who see the highway as a mere asphalt strip connecting, in the quickest and most secure manner, a certain location A to another location B.
But now we knew. Liberated from our inexcusable ignorance: we knew the highway’s true nature.
That of a timeless, boundless, parallel dimension. One where it’s utterly absurd to think about where you came from and where are you headed, when you left and when you will get there.
That is, until a wretched, wicked sign drew us back to the well-known dimension where space is measurable and time is recalled. It was a prompt blow: Wageningen to the right, next exit, and Damian instantly slowed down, aware of our speed. ‘It’s still early’, I said, suddenly alert of our long-forgotten time restraints.
It all came back to us: the 4 days, the 1,800 kilometers, the 3 cities, the group of 5, the things we saw and heard and ate and smelled. I knew exactly what we did and where we did it during every single phase of the trip. I even knew what I was going to do for what was left of the day, and for the next day, and the day after that.
And I hated knowing.