My Hidden Lives // Prose

73. about when we took the wheel

maps

Life is a reckless, unpredictable driver.

It skids on roads of meant-to-be’s and often misses the turns you were planning to take. Distinguishing left from right is not a trait it could boast of, either. I can’t judge it, though, because I too cause trouble in traffic.

I step onto the road without looking left (or right), distracted by my music. I miss train and tram stops alike, sometimes only a short walk away from my destination, others stranded (and this has truly been known to happen) in a totally different country.

I drink and drive, I drink and live.

I force the gas pedal down when I’m bored, transport myself to the very edge of being young and being incurably foolish. I take the wheel without a license in my pocket, and merely hope I’ll know how to make a turn or parallel park, when it’s necessary. These are the good days.

On bad days, I let others take me where they think I ought to go. I let indecision decide and lead me where it will. Daughter? Mother? Lover? I quietly agree to any address and linger for a while.

The best days are when we ride together. And even though they’ve happened many times already, they are always new. We never pass a familiar street on the way. Me and my friends, madmen all. We laugh at each other over bars or dirty ashtrays and say –

Hey! We know we’re not growing up just yet. It won’t hurt the process to delay, a day (or two).

Let’s swim naked in the sea when we know there’s people watching. Let’s test our endurance by living out of a train for a week. Let’s take each other on a journey we will never forget. Let’s get it etched into our skins, and allow ourselves to smile at our silliness when the years kick in.

Let’s bask in the unpredictable, curvy, long road ahead. While we’re at it, let’s also toast the driver who always knows how to surprise and take you somewhere a thousand times better than you’d ever imagined you could find yourself.

Fuck what you thought-to-be meant-to-be’s or turns in the right direction.

It won’t hurt  to drive around the back alleys and delay your arrival, for a day.

(Or two.)

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2 thoughts on “73. about when we took the wheel

  1. From I’m guessing a little further on in life, I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that it won’t hurt the process to delay a day (or two). In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’ll contribute to the growing up far more than the alternative, in that if we hold a store of such days, it makes it likelier that we’ll be happier further down the line, in our (relatively-speaking) grown-up state, with the experience of those days to call upon, to look back on. Fewer regrets, perhaps.

    • Yes, I’m only just starting to realize that. I’ve been living out of a schedule for so long, always with this pressure of enroll-here, do-this-for-the-first-time-now, graduate-on-time, etc. And as it turns out all the best memories, and the least regrets, came when I went completely off script and just did whatever it was that I wanted in the moment. So I agree with you 100%. 🙂

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