On not having a future

published May 17, 2010, last modified Jun 26, 2013

A tale about thirty seconds of idiocy.

Yesterday, I went to a friend's house for a barbecue she hosted.  I had a great time there; alas, that's not the topic of this post.

As I was coming back, driving West through the CA-237, stress assaulted me.  The thought of coming back home, of being stuck in a rut, all those little things that I'm constantly worried about, everything just came to me, simultaneously, from all sides.

My eyesight became very cloudy.  I felt as if my hands were made out of rubber.  I felt disconnected from my body.

In a fit of rage, I stepped on the gas, pedal to the floor.  Old faithful, tired but giving, sprung into action, as the seven cylinders that still work pumped out the extra hundreds of pounds of force they could, engine gasping for air and roaring like a lion who, ten years ago, was king and owner of the savannah.  From the comfy 60 I was doing, in no less than ten seconds, I was doing seventy, seventy-five, eighty, eighty-five.  My car shaking violently, zooming past much newer, sportier cars, zooming past them so fast that all of them felt as if they were going in reverse.  I was stuck, disconnected from my body, gunning down the 237, barely remembering that, to not die in that very instant, I had to keep the car in a straight line using every single ounce of my fading strength.

"Fuck.  I'm going to die.  NOW."

Those were my last, strangely comforting thoughts, before my conscience assaulted me again and made me pull my right foot from the gas.  Now scared like hell, spotting the rear view mirror for the Highway Patrol, regaining control of the vehicle -- that was never truly lost in the first place -- I slammed the brakes, returning to the "safe" 60 nobody can blame me for.

What had started as a completely unconscious and impulsive thrill-seek, became a very serious menace to my life.  Was I looking for some excitement?  Well, then why didn't I find those thirty seconds exciting?  Why was I numb for every single one of those thirty seconds?  More importantly, why did I just not care to smash old faithful, with me inside?  I have everything a good man could want to have, and I still have tons of doors yet to open or kick down the road.  I'm always in control of every single thing that can be controlled.  I can't say that I'm unhappy, and -- in fact -- if I may indulge in the arrogance, I am and have everything in my life to be happy about.  It would be foolish to give it all away in a crash that would tear me to shreds, right?

Well... for one minute after going eighty-five in an old, tired car, I managed to remember, once again, that not having a future can be strangely liberating.