Interstate Love Song


A glow of rusted yellow settles on the dashboard as Atlanta readied for night. Southern rock pulses the truck’s cab, bluffing Nolan’s right foot into pressing the accelerator. Hitting eighty-five miles-per-hour motoring down Interstate 85, the tune’s melodic guitar becomes a companion to his new loneliness. He wonders if the song knows or cares who else is traveling along.

The only thing carrying her memory is his cell phone. Nolan deletes texts and calls, swerving in and out of the interstate’s painted lines. They’re all lies. He’s in trouble but he’s honest, he reasons. She’s lied, cheated, then lied again. Nolan’s courting an ominous end, but he tells the truth, he thinks, and that’s what he holds like a glistening sword.

A vial the same color as the commanding sunset rolls next to his hip. As the song crescendos into dramatic thunder, Nolan turns up the volume then scoops the pill bottle with his right hand and guides the steering wheel with his left. Only two capsules remain, but they’re stronger, more controlling than the music. He tosses them into his mouth, and gulps them, dry. The truck weaves to the right into another lane.

The rusty sun takes on a bluish tint in his rear view mirror as lights and a siren from a state trooper scream. Nolan stares at his phone, one more time. Her message is another falsehood but it’s short, simple, and final.

“I loved you even when I was with someone else. I’ll love you forever and ever.”

Nolan doesn’t stop. The siren and lights mean nothing. He doesn’t believe in anything but his passenger, who has taken over. Death shouts, GO! His heart races as the truck speedometer hits one-hundred. They take the southern train, together, all the way down.

****blogger’s note****

This is my response to one of my favorite songs, Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots, and the prompt this week’s from my friends at Trifecta Writing

On to this week’s challenge.  We usually try to choose prompts that don’t lead
the writer down an obvious path.  Indeed, some of our favorite posts require a
third or fourth reading to even find our one-word prompt.  This will almost
definitely not be the case with this week’s challenge.  I can’t help it.  I’m a
huge fan of Halloween, and the third definition of this word is just too clever
to pass up.

This week’s word is:

1a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions :
the end of life
  b : an instance of dying disease causing many
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life
death of him>
  b : a cause of ruin <the slander that was death to my
character — Wilkie Collins>
3 capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a
skeleton with a scythe

Mwahahaha.  Have fun.

This song means a lot to me. It’s too personal to say why. Here’s the greatest driving song ever, Interstate Love Song


38 thoughts on “Interstate Love Song

  1. Lance, DAMN! This is the third time I’ve tried to leave a comment… hope it takes!

    Great write, sir. I saw it all in black and white (I know, the pills and all have colors, but…). It was so film noir, especially the ending. “Death shouts GO!” And the last line kicked ass. Mine, actually. I’m walking around rubbing my butt as I speak.

    Thx also for the great msg you left while I was in Computer Hell. I couldn’t log in on other computers at cafes because I have “La-di-dah WordPress,” the upgraded one. And if you want to name your cowpunk band Howling Bloodhound Slobberjaws, go ahead, as long as you credit me for naming y’all on your first CD! Peace from the slowly frosting North, Amy

    • thank you amy. I’ll venture over to your place shortly.

      I almost inserted the last line earlier, but I kept it so. Glad I did. Hope your butt gets better.

  2. Wow, this is some of your best work. The last paragraph is just, just, horrid and good. This song? OMG I’ve listened to this Interstate driving sooo many times. I-90 in our case. My boys loved STP in their teen years and fortunately the rest of us did too.

  3. Nice. The passenger bit at the end made me think of Dexter and his “dark passenger” so it seemed even more menacing.
    Oh, and my mother, who reads my blogs and the people who comment came to your site and she’s upset I’m not on the blogroll. I explained to her I hadn’t committed to reading the book posts from scratch yet so I don’t deserve it. In addition, I don’t do a blog roll. She seemed satisfied with that and had agreed not to write a letter of complaint. Just in case you noticed your ears burning… 🙂

  4. This is my second favorite song of all time! (only second to Black by Pearl Jam) and both are the only 2 songs that have made me cry like a 14yo girl when heard live – having NOT been a 14yo girl when I heard them. Hahaha

    One of the best paintings I’ve ever done was called “Hand in Rusted Shame”, so there’s that too 😉

    Love your words!

    • It’s in my top five or so songs. I love the southern rock guitar, the driving rhythm section and Scott’s vocals. Great painting title. I would love to see it! Thank you

  5. Held my attention…completely. I started feeling, at the end, that Nolan and Death were headed for the male version of the classic Thelma and Louise move. Fantastic. And I love visiting for the music, too!

  6. his feelings of loss and desperation came through. There is nothing for him, it was all a lie so life isn’t worth it.

    I just hope he doesn’t take anyone else with him. Driving like that down the Interstate is a risk!

  7. Lots of good stuff going on with this one. I loved the comparison of the pill bottle to the sunset, and that Death is his passenger, egging him on. You did a great job with this story

  8. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Your little details about bluish tints and the feel of the accelerator as he pushes down make your writing. Excellent piece!

  9. This grim tale is very real, on many levels. The sunset imagery is perfect too! I feel like I’m riding along with this guy, (but maybe I should get off at the next exit?). Great job.

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