It’s a certain season and time of day that leads me to have unwholesome thoughts, and it is my car that gives validation to my impulsivity. Alone I fall victim to my thoughts, my only company apart the music – and sometimes not even that. Were it not for practicality doing its best to ground me, I would travel without end and with no destination in mind.
You see, it’s not a consequence of any consideration or planning, but rather an arrow on a brilliant sign set high above a highway on ramp that makes empty promises.
“Pick me – pick me!” screams the silent metal, horrendously loud, ringing in my ears.
“Come this way, dear child,” beckons the nearest city, more gentle and alluring.
“You will see what you are missing,” still a third voice, softer yet.
But there is something perverse about these voices. There is something not quite right. I could fall so easily into those familiar arms of careless immaturity, so blindingly comforting. I could escape. I could run. I could disappear.
Then what of my life? What of all that I have been building and all that I have given up to do so?
Then the doubts: and what, exactly, is it that I have been building? Have I not been met with constant failure – then, and then… what does it matter anyway?
It is in the evening, when the grayish blue night begins to set on this disdainful tropical setting, that I become most motivated. I was sad once, as a child – for what I cannot remember. But I do recall driving three hours only to turn around and head home. No one was any the wiser. But I knew.
On hot summer afternoons, when the Florida sun bakes the road beneath my tires and billows up in thick, tangible mirages, I think of cocaine. I have no desire to consume it – it’s never been a thing for me. But I do oh-so-miss being 18 and on that mission. It was a reason to drive and an exciting destination. I was innocent. I had friends – well, we can call them acquaintances. But those were different times.
But what of destiny? Is my life planned and puppeted by some higher power, manipulated like a porcelain marionette, or is it up to me? Have I chosen the path that I’m on now? I certainly don’t feel like it.
What if I get on that highway?