Driving

Done on 750words.com, a young man drives home from his dead end job in the rain. An experiment written in second person.

You're walking down the road. The rain feels more like snow as it hits your face in cold, short, constant blasts. You can barely see because of it, and it's soaking through your jacket, through your shirt, through your skin, you can feel it on your bones. Head down, you wish that you'd bought a coat to assis you through the ten or so meters to your car. Just plod on, the optimist in your head screams at you. It's not that cold. It's not that bad. And hey, you're nearly there. Then you'll be nearly home. Then you'll be dry and warm and safe and this'll fade into a distant memory that you'll one day incorporate into a bad dream. The pessimistic voice doesn't leave you with as much confidence. But sure enough, you make it to the car. You don't notice any more how beaten up it is, with various scratches and dents embellishing it's coat. You don't see the years of use and abuse any more, desensitised from it after mere weeks of driving it. Not that it matters, anyway. Right now, you just want to be warm.

Shutting the door behind you, you fling your bag onto the back seat, wondering how it came to be so heavy. Before you turn the engine on a moment, you sit and revel in your coldness, your tiredness, your mere exhaustion. Who'd have thought that a mere change in the weather could have bought on all this? You run a hand through your sodden hair, and some more rain water trickles out onto the seat. Shaking your head as if to relieve it from a heavy weight, you force the key into the ignition and yank the engine on. The first thing you do is turn the heating up, but the car is so cold that you can barely notice that a heating system exists in the first place. Still, knowing that it's there in the first place gives you some sort of comfort, and you begin to prepare the car. The wind screen wipers are pounding furiously against the glass in a vain quest to allow you to see the road in front of you. Not really looking, you pull out from the curb, knowing that there's nothing behind you. It's a quiet road, and a quiet time of night. It doesn't matter who'd be here at 10:53 on a Thursday evening. The backstreet is barely used during rush hour. Blinking away the tiredness, you drive up to the junction and you just keep going.

Somewhere, in the back of your mind, you remember a time when driving was novel, when it was fun and new and surprising and not as much of a chore as it is now. It's a pity, really, sitting there in your beat up banger that you wish that you could love, knowing that you'll never feel like that again. Once, you'd dreamt of flying, now you'd settle for less than just driving a car. It's that idea that gets you. The idea that you're so young, yet already loosing some sort of hope, some sort of motivation. You're on the main road now, and you think that you have nothing left to anticipate after this. What comes next? Marriage, kids, mid life crisis... Maybe, one day, you'll even be able to afford a new car. Maybe it'll be a nice one. Maybe you won't have to work such a late shift for such bad pay. Maybe you'll have somebody waiting at home, to put the kettle on when you get in and to ask how your day was and to give you sympathetic looks when you tell them that it wasn't so good and that you want to give up already. Maybe...

It's not a long drive, and it's a route that you know well. You grew up on these streets, and you know them like the back of your hand. As you speed past the chip shop, knowing that you're several miles over the speed limit, your stomach screams out for food. There's a microwavable chicken korma with your name on it in the fridge at home, but that's nothing compared to some good old fish and chips. Still, you drive on. Can't be distracted by something as trivial as fish and chips, not even on a night like this.

The End

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