The Last Highway

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 11 Dec 2023

“We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope;
without it the life of the cities would drive all men
into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.”
Edward Abbey


I packed my van this weekend, for a trip I may never take.  I don't have any furniture (with the exception of a ripped camping chair), so it only took 2 days to get most of the accoutrements of domestic tranquility back in a box where they belong.  It usually takes 10 minutes.  That's how stable my situation has become.  I may unpack the van if I don't make the trip.  But it will just be a pile of boxes on the floor.  It chills me out to have one foot out the door. 

It keeps me grounded.

It keeps me grounded to be leaving.

Perhaps it is the Rapture for which I've packed the van.  Not because the van is coming with me.  Packing the van might simply be a symbolic gesture, a way of indicating to myself and everyone who's left behind that I am up & outta here.  Cuz this place isn't home.  It's why I came to Mexico.  None of it is home.  Mexico, America, the moon...

What difference does it make?

Trip is an animated short film directed by Daniel Szczechura in 1970.  "Restless Wanderer" is from my album American Infidel.  I combined them as a way of packing my spirit for the trip I hope to soon be taking on the last highway, the final staircase to the stars.

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:17


The train is boarding.  There's still time, but the moment of departure is approaching.  Find your seat now.

Thanks for listening.

Restless Wanderer

I'm not afraid of getting old
the days are long and the nights are cold
the days are cold and the nights are long
baby, why ya do me wrong?
You could take me all the way to Mississippi
but it still wouldn't be far enough from you
the only thing that'll make me happy
the only thing that I'll never do
so I'm gonna leave the comforts of the city
and wash my hands in a cold mountain stream
find myself a country girl so pretty
and live the life I've always dreamed

Like a restless wanderer I roam
until the Lord calls me home
until the stars fall from the sky
until the day I die
Oh Jesus, I know that you don't need me
but Lord knows I need you
wherever this winding road should lead me
whatever it is that I'm supposed to do
so pack your bags, my darling,
we're leaving
and I don't even care if we return
the streets of this town are crowded and uneven
maybe someday we'll come back and watch it burn

©2006 Nathan Payne

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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