On the freewayStop the car, I want to get out. I would rather walk from here. At least then I choose where I'm going. You drive on. You take the path you want to take. I will never see you again. Your memory of me will be a stooped figure striding purposefully down a road he doesn't know, going where he doesn't want to go, bowed down and slow.
Let me out so I can walk. I don't know where this road leads and I don't know how I will get home. I feel your hand on mine, you squeeze my hand like I am a child who needs comforting. It's reflexive, you don't think about it. You cannot help it. You are moved to pity. I don't know how I will get home. I feel the same fear I felt when I was younger. I never liked to be driven to parties that were nowhere near public transport. I feared being trapped.
Or feared losing my way. It's never been clear to me which. I cannot dissect what is in my heart. I cannot parse it. I cannot change a word of it because it speaks to me; I do not say it.
Pity is unkind. You think it is generous. But pity is just another form of vanity. And the first and last rule of freedom is to exorcise vanity.
Stop the car, we've already said goodbye. Well, you said it even if you don't know you did and I don't get to say anything. If I just talk to myself, I will get a fair hearing.
I am a pretty harsh judge but at least I'm willing to listen.
I wish I had believed in God. Believing in God is believing in change. The only change you can believe in without God is dissolution. The only change you can experience without God is the end of your world, that it will all slide into the abyss.
I feel your hand on mine, squeezing my fingers briefly, just once, twice, then you put your hand back on the wheel. I am miserable here. I am condemned to sit in someone else's car while they decide where I am going. This is my whole life. Why should you be any different from all the other drivers on this road? When I look out at the traffic, I see a thousand drivers in a thousand cars, and they all know where they are going, although I hold out hope that some at least do not know why.
I wish I had believed in myself.
I have tasted freedom. I know what it looks like, what it feels like. But it's not somewhere you get to. It's the journey itself.
I will never see you again. You are somewhere on the roads of this city, driving somewhere I do not know where. I sit down by the side of the road, pull out my Kindle and start to read. Before long, I have forgotten where I am.