May 14, 2008
By Lily Naha, New Providence, NJ

There's something beautiful about highways in the early morning, sun still pale on the pavement, promising the possibility of unending motion.

And there's something very lonely about highways late in the afternoon, when the sun's about to set and all the blue's being washed out of the sky. Truckers pass in convoys, a sort of nomadic tribe. Superstores and storage units line the highway, high-speed consumerism, nothing human about it. And I dream of a village in the desert, a truly human village that is also a gathering place of wanderers, with nothing but orange sand-scents and shaded armadillos for miles around, a village that, though small, never becomes lethargic or run-down, because it's full of music and life late into night. That is what I think of when i see the lonely highways.

But then, at midnight, the highway becomes magical, enticing again. It promises to carry me away from this motionless town to some vibrant far place. And when it finally takes me back to the exit ramp of civilization, my pulse- disappoinigly- slows. Here, teenagers complain of boredom, but many will turn out just like the parents who they seem to rebel against, right down to the shallowness and the corporate values.

But some of us burn, burn fiercely for some future radical community, some thing that never has been. And if those free-burning spirits who are not destructive can find each other in the dead of night, well, that promises something new against the shell of a town that can be found in every American state, doesn't it?

There's a certain type of college student that's like us. But how do we stop this from just being youthful rage? How do we also become thirty-and-forty-somethings still working towards that almost intangible goal? And how do we build bridges that will connect our battles to the battles of people for whom college never even enters the picture, so that we become many voices speaking together, and not just isolated screams against the machinery?

I guess that's the next thing we have to figure out.

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