Arkansas. Trees. Trees. Trees.
“I’ve been married five times, and people think that’s some bizarre thing, yet I’ve got buddies who refuse to get married and have sex with 15 people a week. I’m like, “Which is better?” At least I was trying.”
-Billy Bob Thornton
There are a lot of trees in Arkansas. When I think of trees, I think of oxygen. I think of a clear mind. I think of growing up in the Caribbean and playing in them. Sleeping in them. Climbing them. Eating food from them. Trees are peaceful havens. They’re beautiful. They help you to live and provide safety and shelter, depending on the circumstances.
Although we didn’t spend much time in Arkansas, trees were one of the first things I noticed while driving along the freeway. I couldn’t help but also think of all the real estate construction in Los Angeles and how they could improve the air quality by planting a few hundred trees for every ridiculous business high-rise or money hungry condo going vertical.
Patrick and I got a lot of time to chit chat in the car while sneaking on over to Oklahoma. We had a comedy show in Dallas on Friday night and we needed to head South through Missouri, literally tag Arkansas, “You’re it!”, head East into Oklahoma and then southwest to Dallas. 8 hour trip.
During the drive, Patrick and I talked about the philosophical ideas behind my trip: “Where is Steve?”. My concept behind the name is to stay in the moment. Yes, I may have to drive 6000 miles or more in total over 6 weeks but “Where is Steve?” in the moment? Where is he, right now? How does he feel? And what is he doing to stay in the moment?
My #1 goal for this trip has been to stay in the moment. To breathe the current air of the place I am inhabiting. To study the vegetation that surrounds me. To pay attention to how the roads differ. To look at the cloud formations that are close to me and the ones in the distance. To pay attention to weather patterns. To talk to people. To break the ice. To engage with people. To make people laugh. To engage with animals. To listen to the voices around me and how different people sound as I make my way across America’s beautiful terrain.
Patrick’s take on the adventure was more personal. Where was he in his current life and where does he want to go? Where does he see himself during the current time, the rest of the year and a few years out. Patrick loves his current life which is consumed by his wife, dog, job, comedy and future family plans. As he spoke about his plans for his family, it was great to hear the PASSION with which he talked about them. Patrick is a good man. So many folks could learn from him and in time, they will.
I grabbed a concept and ran with it and that’s why I’m driving across the country. But so far, it seems to have affected others in a way I never expected and I can hear that when I converse with Patrick. If this helps him push even harder to be a better comedian, husband and person in life, then I’m happy for that. Just knowing that, has already made me want to push even harder as well. We are in this together. We all are, philosophically speaking.
What a beautiful drive.
S/O to Bill Clinton! The first black President. We love you buddy.