Riding In Cars With Friends

I don’t really like driving. I’d rather ride. In the summer with the windows rolled down and gusts of warm air rolling in, smelling like dirt, but not in an unpleasant way, or bundled up tight in the winter with the heat up high enough to make it cozy and drowsy inside – either is fine by me. I do prefer the nighttime though. Watching the city lights swirl by, soft and soothing and yellow, waves crashing on Lake Shore Drive or staring out at the empty suburban highways that don’t actually go on forever but sure seem to, I am blissful, I am content.

I don’t really feel like talking. You talk. Either a singular you, or a collective you, I’m happy just to listen and let your conversation wrap around me like a blanket. Maybe it’s silly, like a Snuggie, but it still makes me feel warm. And if there’s nothing to say, that’s okay too, because something about us together, here, hurtling down the road in the dark is enough.

I don’t really want to DJ. Whatever you pick will be exactly right, all the more so if I’ve never heard it before. All my music is already associated with another time or place. Rather than me just putting on Matt Nathanson for the thousandth time, I want the song you selected to remind me of this moment, of you humming along under the stars or dancing that stupid dance or bellowing the Lion King soundtrack in the backseat as we come dangerously close to hydroplaning.

I don’t really mind the traffic. I like drawing out the trip. Next to you, or surrounded by you, I feel more at home than anywhere else. Life can be movie-perfect when we are stationary together, our world frozen and flawless as the real world moves outside, away from us. In the dark and the quiet, or sometimes even in the light and the loud, our time feels intimately infinite. Going somewhere, anywhere, with you (and you and you and you…), I can’t conjure up a single bad feeling. Wherever we’re going, we’ll get there together. TC mark

image – Patxi Izkue


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  • Helloagain1985

    damn, that’s existential.

  • guest

    man, i love this. i had this same exact moment driving with a friend/significant other last weekend. thank you for putting into words what i could not.

  • Oogachakaph

    so lovely… can i ride with you? :)

  • Anonymous

    Loved this. Made me nostalgic for drives with friends.

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    this is nice unless your friend is ryan dunn

  • IcedChai

    Excellent piece. I thought I was the only one who didn’t like to talk or actively participate in anything in the car. I love letting my imagination run as I stare out the window. :)

  • Kaya


  • idoitfortheluz

    LAKE SHORE DRIVE?!?!?! But I thought Christine said TC was all about NYC?? Mind=blown.

  • Elizabeth Whalley

    so excellent. thank you.

  • Jeremy Owens


  • Bill Yancey

    Worst. Passenger. Ever.

  • Sophia

    love this, and can identify. great point about not DJing – “all my music is already associated with another time or place.” perfectly worded.

  • Anonymous

    This is so me and my best friend.  She doesn’t have a car, and I have a convertible, so we spent many nights this summer driving around town at 2 or 3 am, music playing as we felt the warm summer wind blow through our hair (which was usually damp with sweat from dancing at a club just a couple hours before).  Such good memories. Thank you for writing this.

  • Anonymous


  • JSin


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  • Ian

    loved this article. thanks!

    riding in cars with a friend(s) is one of my very favorite things. so intimate!!!i was also very pleased to see an article by a Chicagoan :) cheers

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