My car knows what I don't think about. It knows that there is a quarter tank of gas left. It knows that the air is below freezing and that the tire pressure is normal. It knows that I buckled my seat belt out of habit when I reached the(more) stop sign at the end of the lane to get onto the highway.
I don't think about these things, because all I can think about is the static in my brain. The insistent buzzing filled with voices telling me about their day, the neighbor's lost dog, the stomach pain, the headache, the weather, the store clerk, their dead aunt. They asked me questions about where I'm going, when I'm going, who would be there and would they walk me out because only guys can handle themselves. They tell me to smile because their wish that I have a good day should be enough to make me happy. The voices were loud, but the static is louder and blurred and confusing and I just need to get out. I need to get out. So I did. And rolled down the windows, not feeling the cold. They want loud? I will give them loud. I will turn up the radio for two hours as I drive down the interstate, barely looking at the speed, screaming the songs at the top of my lungs until my voice is raw and real. The tightness and the scratch give me something to focus on and teach me to breath again.
By the time I've drowned out the static and found myself, I'm half a state away and a little yellow gas pump flashes on my dashboard, telling me it's time to pay up and to go home. (less)
It's too dark to see anything beyond the white headlights of my dad's sedan. But hell, the darkness hardly matters. Even if I had the luxury of sunlight, I'm much too timid to look beyond what's in front of me. I'v(more)e been fooled before by the horizon's sleight-of-hand, seeing places that didn't exist - so I now I focus on the road ahead. Where I'm at, not where I'll be.
I know where I've come from, and I know I could find bare necessities if I backtracked. But I don't have forever to travel, and I may not have the energy to continue once I go back to rest.
Was that a sign I just passed? Its hard to stay focused on the signs pointing you to your destination - there's so many towns listed that I've never heard of. Most of the signs are meaningless to me, they point to places that mean something to somebody, but nothing to me.
It's times like these that people use the meters and gadgets provided. The meter says I have a quarter tank left. But I've always kept the tank full, to be safe. For all I know, things could turn south in a hurry, and I'd be sitting in this car, wondering where all the fuel went.
My heart starts to beat fast, and my stomach turns. I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't be here. I could have taken his trip slower. Why did I even take the risk? The hopes that I could get the most out of this tank? Who will I call if I don't make it? What will they all think, when photos of my defeated engine show up online?