Most people, somewhere in their heart, fantasize about leaving their present and escaping all of its troubles. It's the unspoken desire to give up whatever possessions they can't live without, leave whatever parts of themselves they don't like behind, and become a new person, in a new place. I think of this escape fantasy as the mature person's version of the teenager's suicide fantasy; choosing to dream about a change for the better in self and surroundings instead of the meaningless retreat of death.

Most never take any action on their fantasy. They stay where they are -- and who they are -- and wait for things to get better, as they think things should. Too many attachments for them, and obligations, hopes for the future, loved ones, etc. Others, like my two best friends who left town a week ago, actualize their fantasy and disappear, to the envy of those they leave behind.

They really did it, what most of us only dream about when we are at our most fragile (or perhaps our most broken). They decided over the course of two weeks that they were going rent a van for all of their important stuff, get the hell out of Dodge, and go to Texas. The boyfriend threw away every word he had ever written, two or three 300 page notebooks, claiming all of his stories, lyrics, and poetry were now irrelevant and pointless. The girlfriend meted out all of her possessions to her friends, her jewelry box, the clothes her parents bought her when she started college, high-school art projects, dress shoes, and much more. They told everybody they were leaving Monday night, and then left Sunday morning, escaping even the obligation of saying goodbye.

I know what my fantasy is, too, and I've come so very close to just doing it a couple of times. I'm close now, in fact, but I know I have all of this college left, and a girlfriend to think about, and debt to pay, and all manners of other shit stopping me. Still, it feels good to imagine getting away, to imagine a fresh start and a chance to be the person I think I could be. My fantasy involves putting a blanket or two, my CD collection, some clothes, my computer, and a few other things I need into my car, leaving enough room to put the seat back and drive comfortably. I see myself leaving town going North, and merging onto the I-70 turnpike that will take me as far East or West as I could ever want to be. No apologies, no goodbyes, and no forwarding address. The Deftones' Around the Fur is playing on my CD player, the perfect music for violent spiritual rebirth. As the needle on my speedometer hits 80, track 5 comes on. I do exactly what it tells me to, and