The clocked winked. I swear it winked at me. Four in the morning, and I cannot fall asleep. On some days this would be fine – lying awake in bed in the small hours of the morning the cool sheets against my skin and no one to interrupt my thoughts. But those are days other than today. Today I am lying awake, legs twitching nervously, checking the clock every few minutes to see if it is any closer to morning. It is not. And I would testify in court that the clock winked at me in condescending acknowledgement that time is not passing. The clock and I are stuck here at 4am with nowhere else to go.
It feels like Christmas, but no not Christmas. And I am too old for that, for the toys and the stockings and the candy. And being too old for those things there is no one who would give them to me anyway. Santa stopped coming when I was just a little kid, and there is not family to fill in like back in the tight times. No, this isn’t Christmas. Heck, it isn’t even winter. Nope this is early Autumn and the reason my nerves are so jangled and sleep evades me is because I am going on a trip. A road trip. I love road trips.
There is something about the act of driving that just makes me happy. And calm. Driving has the opposite affect on my system that the anticipation of driving does, and the opposite affect on me that the sheer dread of driving inflicts on others. When I get behind the wheel and put the car in gear my blood pressure will drop, my anxieties will fade, my mind will clear, and I will become one with the road. Then, as the miles begin to slip smoothly away beneath the wheels of the car all my cares will slip away with them. The mile after mile of white lines and asphalt will be, to my mind, like running a comb through tangled hair. The strands of thought will straighten out, the twisted knots will become undone, and a smooth stillness will take over. Continue reading “The Clock Winked”