“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” – Janis Joplin
I was reminded of the song today on my town walk with Abby. At 2.30 in the afternoon, it was dark – the sky purple/blue, the clouds almost touching the lake. There was no one out. The streets quiet and empty. No dogs, no people, no cars. Just Abby and me. We walked through the town park by the lake, footsteps crunching in the hard, crusty snow. The canoes sleeping, huddled under inadequate blankets of ice and snow.
And then, back in the car – turn on the radio – soulful country music – the kind that talks about whiskey being your best friend. The kind that talks about forgetting the world and drifting into some other place where no one can reach you.
And I thought, “When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.”
Driving home, a drift of melancholy settled over me, not the kind that is sad and not the kind you even want to shake off. It was the sort of heavy dolour that rocks you like a cradle, the kind you want to sink into – and float and float and float away.
In keeping with the mood of the landscape and the emptiness of the day.
I was reminded of me at 18 years old, a quarter and a bus ticket in my pocket, all my possessions in a small bag, standing on the side of the 401, thumb out. I had nothing. I had nothing to lose and nowhere to go but whatever direction the next car would take me.
There was a freedom in that.