Bruce doesn’t play Thunder Road until it’s almost midnight. Thunder Road is a perfect song, a thing in which one small stupid experience expands out to contain all the loud inarticulate things that make us human to one another. As sound it is irresistible; I want to grow up to be the part where the whole thing kicks in at 1:13 on Thunder Road. A few thousand Dads turn their faces to the light and roar about a nighttime drive a teenager in New Jersey once took with a girl named – of course – Mary. My feet hurt and I want to go home, but I’m swept along in it, in the sense that faith might not be a fiction, the sense that we can all for a few moments be dads, and that the big, simple, obvious things might also be the things that are good.
From Born to Run, chapter 1 ("My Street"):
When it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets our town with the smell of damp coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafé factory at the town's eastern edge. I don't like coffee but I like that smell. It's comforting: it unites the town in a common sensory experience; it's good industry, like the roaring rug mill that fills our ears, brings work and signals our town's vitality. There is a place here—you can hear it, smell it—where people make lives, suffer pain, enjoy small pleasures, play baseball, die, make love, have kids, drink themselves drunk on spring nights and do their best to hold off the demons that seek to destroy us, our homes, our families, our town.