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Friday, February 11, 2005

Upset the Pace

She drove fast.
Speed thrills, speed kills. Who wants to live under the rock anyway!
I needed to get home. So I drew a map of the route in my mind and let out a simper of breath at every landmark we passed on my mental map. With the other half of my brain I watched the speedometer-needle notch higher and higher as gears shifted and gas burned.
Eleven PM. The roads are bare. The traffic acquires a function of peristalsis.
She swerves around every turn, the looks into the rear-view mirrors ceasing steadily. She won’t slow down for the speed-breakers, the bumps, the ditches, the lights (there aren’t any), nothing, not even the shadows that creep in the gutters that line the tar.
I sat upright, uptight, my back pressing into the seat as I watched the next bend arrive. 90 degrees, envisioned measurement. O! If we could only clear it safely, plus 20 metres, we’d be across another mental-map landmark!
You can light up every dimension and we will still create a shadow.
She got him just as we made the corner. He was fumbling on his moped at the drear gully where the tar meets the dust. He went down without a sound.
I screamed, “YOU HIT A MAN! STOP! YOU HIT A MAN!”
She took forever to stop while she starred at me uncomprehendingly, while she peered at the rear-view mirror and saw only a picture of the night. Even when she stopped, she hesitated.
I was out of the car in an instant. He was already up with his moped-handle in his hands and a hurtful look on his face. He was ok. I shouted, “WE’RE LUCKY - HE’S ALIVE!”
Luck is a philandering whore.
I gave him an address, a phone number. He took our names and the registration number.
She said, “Tomorrow”
He said, “Today”
She said, “We need to go home now.”
He said, “How can I go home like this!”
As he spoke, invisible bubbles of alcohol left his mouth and burst in the air. His slur exaggerated itself. His stagger revealed itself.
Psycho! Run.
She fired the ignition.
I barely got in before she hit thirty.
Thirty. Forty. Fifty. Sixty. No more.
The bumps slowed us down. The speed-breakers slowed us down. The ditches slowed us down. There were so many of them everywhere. And in the rear-view I saw a single bright headlight chasing us down every lane, around every bend.
It was miles and minutes and I lost count. Finally at the bleakest point of the night, we stopped.
She slammed on the brakes in a wham of a skid. She slammed the door as she got out.
The lone headlight that had hunted us came to a halt besides our red racer.
You can run but you can’t hide.
He still wore his hurtful look and his eyes carried a doleful expression. But we knew better; we had seen the glint of steel behind the still black pools.
She began her barrage of words, abuses, insults, accusations.
He defended with slurs and stutters.
I watched listlessly. A siren sounded in the distance.
One AM. Hope dawns.
He startled. Life seeped back into his veins. He jumped onto his moped and vroomed off and was a speck in the distance much before the deep blue van, with the red light on its roof, halted next to us.
They escorted us home, sweet home, where she couldn’t drive, where I could just lie and be.

2 Comments:

Blogger Max Babi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:06 AM, February 17, 2005  
Anonymous zorba said...

hi saturn child,



it's a nice experience when you first read the story with your ears and next you listen it with eyes.


a good one.
aj

4:22 AM, February 21, 2005  

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