The Road

Driving always made her feel better. It made her feel like she could be free, run away at her will. It was a liberating sensation, but she knew it was short-lived. That was a fact she chose not to dwell on. Why waste this precious time on something unfix-able? As she drove out of her neighborhood, she rolled down the windows, letting the fresh morning air wash over her. She remembered trying to wake up this early at first, and failing many times in doing so. She was glad she hadn’t given up – it was paying off. She maneuvered through the streets, through the sparse traffic, with no music to distract her. That was unusual. Ordinarily, she would turn the volume up enough to drown her thoughts. Today, she didn’t feel the need for it. She let herself think, knowing it was unhealthy to ignore things for so long. The main road was almost empty, and her car took a steady pace, taking her to her destination. She didn’t rush, and didn’t intend to either.

As she thought, she came to the conclusion that her life was much like this journey. The car was bound to it by gravity, and there was a single destination to reach. There were many paths leading to it, but this was the most widely used, trusted way to get there. Other cars went by, some faster, some slower. Everyone had their own destination, and no one else knew where one was headed. At different times of the day, different amounts of traffic dominated the street. She passed by them all the same, not knowing much about them, except being careful not to bump into them. Sometimes she found herself sharing the road with another driver for a length, until their paths separated, and they no longer traveled together.

She thought about how the road dictated her driving. She turned when it turned, slowed down at a speed breaker, drove more carefully on the slopes. And no matter how many times she drove on it, it would make her drive the same way that she did before. She had no control over the road, only over her car and how she drove it.
Just like she had no control over her life, only over herself and the way she lived.


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