Thursday, February 2, 2012

the ride

What does one do when all of his dreams have come true? Wish for a time when his dreams lay in pieces, of course. Perhaps even a time before this, a darker, primordial, dream-free time, in which one just was. Meandering. Existing. Coasting.

There was a long stretch of time, a veritable highway cutting through the pitch black night of a foreign land, which was marked with blind, concentrated anticipation. You knew not what lay just beyond the twin beams of headlights cutting through the darkness before you. You knew not what lurked in the alien countryside, or in the blank sky above. You knew only the small patch of illuminated asphalt in front of you, the yellow lines zipping by, the hum of car wheels, the radio playing your favourite tunes.

You held that wheel tight.

You didn’t even have a destination – you simply drove, focused on keeping your car on the road. Then, all of a sudden, you were there. You had reached a destination you didn’t even know existed. No map, no plan, you were confounded. How could you arrive somewhere you didn’t know existed? Could a road simply end? How could that be possible?

Yet there it was. You had arrived. And everyone patted you on the back, and told you how fortunate you were. Complimented you on your navigation skills. Said there weren’t many who could drive quite like that. You smiled because you didn’t know what else to do.

Flash forward to today, you hide. Hide the happiness, hide the contentedness, hide the success behind alternating masks of indifference, wanting, and motivation. No-one back home wants to know how happy you are. There’s a quiet wanting for the gypsy’s life, anyway. The carefree, nonconformist life of a bohemian. Is there somewhere else to go from here?

Each morning, you sneak out of your grand house in the nondescript suburbs, walking barefoot across the cool bristle of carefully manicured grass. You smile and wave to a neighbour. Tactfully chase his cat out of your garden with a discreet hiss. Feel the warmth of a morning sun on your cheek.

You sneak out to the garage with a cup of strong coffee to admire, to caress, to polish that old car. You admire its clean lines. Its ageless beauty. Its spirit. You sink into the bucket seat, your spine creaking, a knee popping. You put your hands on the wheel, your foot resting gently on the gas pedal.

You dream.

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