By GJ Hart
It’s like this: You’re driving to work, the same route you take everyday. The same route you’ve taken everyday for 10 years. You know the route so well it’s practically part of your DNA. You could take a nap or cook a three course meal right there on the passenger seat and still not miss a single turn.
But today’s different. You accelerate through the lights and hit hard, heavy traffic. You’re near to work but that means nothing, you ain’t going no where. Then you see a side road you’ve never noticed before. Perhaps you can cut through and miss the jam you think. You indicate and turn. You’ve never driven this way but calculate that with a few right turns you’ll be back on track. And so you drive on, humming perhaps. And on, and on. But the right turns don’t come. Only lefts. Then it hits you and you can’t believe it has, you realise you are lost. Lost in a place you thought you knew better than your mother’s own name. You bang the wheel in frustration, eyes darting, seeking out that magic turn. But nothing, there is no turn. Sweat forms on your forehead. The petrol gauge has some how dropped to just above zero. You drive on, breathing hard.
You see a red bird eating a green berry in a tree twisted like an arthritic hand. You see people dressed in official uniform but it’s no office you recognise. Their eyes, black as oil, follow you as you pass. You see a man attempting to free a cat from a tiny jaw trap, his daughter watching him from the window. You remember the time you punched that guy in the bar for no good reason other than your bad mood and the fact he was smaller than you. He’s gotta be still after you you think, you wonder if he lives nearby. You feel the pedals beneath your feet, hear them creaking like the pedals of the piano you were forced to play naked that time. You drive on, the windows starting to steam. Your phone beeps one last time and dies.
And then it happens, your eyes fix on something: A pothole, a tree and in a beat the world zooms into focus. You recognise everything, the world is familiar once more. You’re not lost, you never were.Your on the same road you always travel, you’ve just approached it from a different direction. You relax, laughing nervously and turn the radio on. You realise you’re not even going to be late. That’s when the wall swings in like a fist.