It is night. I am alone. I am in my car. The time is 1:23 AM. My car is dark blue and no doubt looks black in the darkness of the night. There are no roadside lamps on this stretch of highway. I am utterly, completely and undoubtedly alone. The road stretches in front of my car. It seems to go on forever. I cannot see the end of it. All I see is the few feet in front of my car, where my headlights shine on the black asphalt and the white lines drawn on it, passing me by one by one.

My vision blurs as I try to count the white lines passing by on my right. One. Two. Three. Four. But no, they’re going to fast to count. I’m going to fast to count them. The speedometer shows me I’m going too fast. I slow down.

The radio in my car isn’t working. Way out here there is only a fizzle and crackle from any of the stations. My CD player is broken. The only noise I can hear is the sound of fast wheels on cold asphalt, and the sound of my own breathing. In and out. In and out.

The highway is taking me from one home to another. One home, the one I left, is broken, destroyed, a-shambles emotionally. My mouth curves into a wry grin before I can stop myself; after the confrontation tonight, it is a-shambles also physically. Not my problem anymore. I glance back, suddenly worried, but my suitcase is still in the back seat, holding every possession I own. The home I am going to is an old home, a half-remembered home, a home where I don’t know if I will be welcomed. The smile disappears. I was a disappointment. Surely I will not be welcomed. But there is no other place to go.

I jerk. I look at the clock on the dashboard. It is 3:44 AM. I cannot remember the last hour and a half. I’ve heard of this before. It’s called road-trance. Your body drives without you having to pay attention. Your mind sleeps and your body works on its own. Figures. That’s what the last four years of my life have been like, after all. Damn it all to hell. I keep driving. Maybe there will be something worthy at home. My old home, or rather, my renewed home.


5 thoughts on “Trance

  1. I love the contrast contained within on paragraph, where you start with a wry grin and then it disappears.

    One minor point: When it started I thought you were sitting alone, idle, at the curb or on the shoulder of the road. It’s a little jarring to go from that (as a reader) into sudden movement. You have to reset your mental imagery and allow the flow to catch up to the new imagery. Simply starting with some reference to movement would rememdy that.

    I always</b< love these atmospheric pieces you do. They allow us to surreptitiously become the character you paint and experience everything they do.

    As Joy expressed, “I can’t wait for the next one.”

  2. Wow, I can’t believe you noticed that, J.W. I understand how it’s jarring, but that was actually on purpose – because my character is in a trance basically from the beginning of the piece, lost in thought, half unaware of the fact that she is, indeed, in movement.

  3. chloe says:

    this is awesome!
    i can totally relate to this entry
    i’ve driven (most days) home from work on ‘auto piolet’
    i’ve never remember one second of the 25-30 mintues drive :/

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