Wednesday, August 24, 2005

On the Road

Here's a short piece which I wrote last year on driving...

As the sky remains dark and the raindrops begin to fall, the road becomes slippery and the wheels begin to swerve. Left to right. Right to left. Left to right. Do my passengers feel this sudden movement? From the rear-view mirror I can see them, their heads nodding, their eyes shut tight by the rhythmic lullaby of the engine. My hands hold on tighter to the steering wheel.

“I must slow down,” I mutter to myself.

The van is simply too heavy to be maneuverable.

Beside us, a large bus suddenly roars by. It pushes the air between us with such a force that our rear wheels jerk up and slam down on the road. From the rear-view mirror, I see a nodding head, suddenly erect, giving off a soft yelp. Once the bus passes, however, the same head goes back into slumber. Its eyes do not remain peeled and alert. But mine do.

Mine must.

For on the road, potholes and barriers are scattered. And mine is the task of seeing us over these. As my foot continues to step on the gas pedal to propel us forward, my mind reminds me of the hand brake beside my knee. The journey is still far, and though the horizon continues to conceal the dawn’s rising, our headlights lessen the burden by lighting the way.


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