Submitted by Madeline on Thu, 08/13/2015 - 12:13

It's mounting, forcing you to veer off the clean-paved road onto a dusty, narrow dirt path. You bounce so violently in the car, over natural potholes and centuries-old pebbles, that a chink of your conscience cracks off. The moralistic sliver flutters through the window, and you stare after it, wishing you could reverse. But you've gone too far already.

You come to a sign, apply pressure to the brakes. But you don't slow. Your mouth opens, and you try to find the words, the tactful way, to articulate your intentions. But already you've fared some adverse reactions, and now as you breeze past the blaring octagon, the stop that would have provided some relief, you see your desire rippling in the rearview, growing smaller, having danced out the open hatch without so much as a declaration to weigh it down.

There is nobody to blame. You are perhaps being hard on yourself, you reason, as your fingers tighten on the wheel. All these changes, so swift, coming at you, ticking past too quickly for you to muster up your courage. Your stronghold. And you know, if someone were to be in the passenger side, it would bolster your confidence significantly. Then you could've traversed down the clear way, you could've stopped. But you glance around the cramped space, at the seat-belt dangling against the left door, and you know that you're now to the point where you'll have to scale life on your own.

There is always a way to get what you want, and you are almost there. It started small over a year ago, meek, barely an expression of words. Very recently, you've been able to vocalize it, to fashion quips, letting them free to swim with the undercurrent of truth. And it's been nice.

Mostly, you are so, so unwilling to let go of this silliness, a frivolity in so many circles. Even a nuisance to some. And maybe a sign that you feel inferior stating it, unabashedly, means that you shouldn't want for it at all.

Or maybe you're just anticipating the way people will look at you. Like they, who are not you--like they have any right.

The grumble of an engine draws closer. You slow to let the people pass. As you stare after the retreating vehicle, you notice the brake-lights don't come on even once, and they don't slow. They are just going, going, gone. So you tell yourself to forget the pedal on your left. You give the car gas, and you turn your music up, and you drive.

Author's age when written


I read this as soon as you posted it and forgot to comment! Anyway, I adore it. Your phrasing was musical.

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond