Alone on an empty highway

What does one think about when driving alone for hours down a dark and deserted highway? Journey is blasting through my speakers telling me that I shouldn’t stop believing. But I did stop believing–a long time ago; on that day–on that damn day that never leaves my mind.

I turn up the volumn searching for a bit of comfort–maybe even a hidden truth–anything; any advice that Steve could offer at this moment. But I guess he can’t. Because if he could then I wouldn’t feel these tears running down my cheeks. And I wouldn’t see the flames of self-destruction rising into the dark sky when I look back through the rearview mirror–looking back to the life that I left behind.

The highway can be the loneliest place on earth when you’re the only one on it. During the day when the sun is out, my demons stay buried in their caves underneath the stairs of my subconscious. I’m brave when the light shines–not thinking of the past and being able to shrug off the ghosts that try to walk with me. But at night, well, that’s another story. They know that this is my weakest time. They wait all day for the sun to set, and then they slowly creep up and slither into the pores of my thoughts. The night is my cryptonite and the sad part is that they know it.

How many chances does a person get to get it right? I drive past signs telling me to bear straight, yet my wheel has a will of its own. It takes me through detours, seeking out shortcuts to get me to my destination, only I never arrive. I never seem to quite get there. The highway is so frustrating when you can’t find your exit.

I turn off the radio and shake my head to clear it. I wonder where I’m going. I wonder if this road will get me there. I wonder if I’ll ever find out who I really am.

Why do ghosts come out at night? I look into my rearview mirror and I see darkness–the fires have gone out. It feels like there’s nothing there–no life left behind, no realness, no past. It reminds me of a conveyor belt that pulls me forward, around and back through the same scenery. How ironic. I’m stuck. I have millions of frequent flyer miles, but there’s no gas. If there was ever a time to scream, it would be now, but then I’d be able to hear it. I would have to listen to the echo of my pathetic shrills.

I reach forward and press the button to turn on the heater. It gets so damn cold during the night.

©valentine defrancis. 2009


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