Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
On the highwayLast night I discovered why people love cars. For years I could never quite understand why people obsess over their vehicles. And not just cars either. After all, what's a car without a road to drive on? I've always known that the road is a powerful metaphor. It symbolizes a journey, any journey really.
I was driving down the interstate late last night and the poetry of my drive hit me. The deadly combination of incredible speed mixed with the lulling effect of the constant motion of the car. It's like when a mother rocks her baby to sleep, the constant motion induces an ease into the babe. Riding in a car has a similar effect which is why so many people fall asleep in the car. It would take little to kill me at the speed I was traveling, a slick oil patch and a semi-truck in just the right position and there would be no possibility of an open casket at my funeral. The speed has always been a drug for me, but the contrast of the danger I was in and the peacefulness that was suspended was exciting and frightening and exhilarating.
The feeling of running away was present too. Watching highway signs growing and then disappearing, the white lines that my tires seemed to eat up, it really felt like I was running from something. A good feeling? Yes. A good thing? Probably not. I don't think running from problems is a proper solution, but I still relished the feeling for a few delicious moments.
I was also struck by the glittering lights surrounding me. Each pair of lights was at least one person. And I wondered what they were doing out on the highway at that time of night. Were they heading home to a loving wife and slumbering kids? Heading home to a broken family? Running from a person? A problem? Or were they the same thing? Lots of questions.
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