Driving at night

11.56, Friday 5 Apr 2024

I was driving in the dark last week and listening to the whole Twin Peaks soundtrack (Wikipedia).

Wife napping. Kid asleep in the back. No road lighting, no Moon.

On YouTube: Angelo Badalamenti Twin Peaks theme. 1990!

It holds up, it holds up.

Also on YouTube: Angelo Badalamenti explains how he wrote Laura Palmer’s theme - so beautiful, do please watch this, you have to hear him play and narrate how he worked with David Lynch.

For ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme,’ he described a lonely girl coming from out in the woods, and the sycamore trees calmly blowing in the wind, and then make me start on a melody. He would always speak very softly in my ear, and I would play something the whole time while he was speaking. Oh, Angelo, we’re in the dark woods, that’s good, that’s good. Play it slower. De-da-de-da-de-da. Play it slower, okay. Angelo, yeah, that’s good, you slowed up, but play it slower.

So you see it fits very well.

Taillights and headlights and dreamy haunting jazz.

Such a vibe, you know?

There are a few albums that work best, driving in the dark. Dummy (1994) by Portishead is one.

The Dead Texan.

Literally anything by Cliff Martinez, the Solaris soundtrack for instance.

Which of course takes me to my favourite TV ad of all time which is Night Driving (Ad Forum; watch the 90 second spot there) for VW Golf by adam&eveDDB. Cliff Martinez, the dark empty streets of LA, and Under Milkwood read by Dylan Thomas.

It’s such an eternal cognitive location, night driving.

Different thoughts come when you access that state.

Like writing PowerPoint in hotel lobbies.

I talked about this! Three feelings that I don’t have words for (2020).

Number #3: Hotel lobbies always feel the same to me. The exotic, and melancholy.

The hotel lobby exists outside time. In that place, I’m 28, I’m 42, I’m all ages in-between. I feel like, sitting there in 2012, I could probably remember the future yesterday of 2016 …


This moment of communion is also picked up on by Borges, as previously discussed (2012), not just breaking the barrier of time but also the barrier of individuality:

All men who repeat a line of Shakespeare are William Shakespeare.

I think you access something other and special when you escape time, escape selfhood, whether that’s driving in the dark or sitting in a hotel lobby or walking, that’s another one.

It does a disservice to this cognitive state to believe that it can be found only with psychedelics or meditation or whatever, whereas there are mundane apertures too,

and we do a disservice to alternative cognitive states to choose to name “flow,” simply because it relates to productivity, and to leave nameless this mode of becoming diffuse and sensitive, able to sense resonances and new ideas from species memory and from the future, and from there, pluck them, and return home with them.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it by email or on social media. Here’s the link. Thanks, —Matt.