Saturday, May 22, 2010

SHORT STORY: community

We all go in the same direction. I watch through the smudged window at the world around me. At 70 miles an hour we would be a blur if we weren’t traveling together. We are not individuals, we are part of the same transit system. A group of people all trying to get to a different end. I love driving, it makes me feel like I’m part of something amazing, something bigger then I could ever be alone. Like a line of ants we move one behind the other. We are all part of each other. The word traffic couldn’t exist if one car was traveling alone. I’m alone inside my car, but I know that I am not by myself. I wave to a group of guys in some sports team jerseys. They yell something out and chant victory songs. I now want their team to win, what an encouraging group of fans.

I keep driving, I slow and speed up to various rates. I want to see all the people that people to this group with me. I sped up and get too close behind someone. He puts his brakes on and I slow down too. I put my blinker on and enter the lane next to him. He looks at me as I pass him and raises his middle finger in the air. A curious look stares back at this finger. He doesn’t even look at me. I am nothing to him but a frustration. This is weird. If I was walking too close behind him, he’d have to talk to me. But because we are in different cars, even though we’re part of a group, he feels he doesn’t have to address me. He’s confident in his metal shield, safe from confrontation. In person he’d either have to ignore me or ask me why I was so close to him. I don’t get that respect here. I pity this man, his blood rises for something I wont even remember doing five minutes from now. I have to bring us together. We cant all be like this. We must know that we are part of the group. A community of drivers all wanting the same thing.

I get off at the next exit. I park in a super mart center. I go in buy a few things and quickly leave the building. I get back into my car and enter my spot inside the group that I love so much. I drive past a guy picking his nose. I look at the passenger seat next to me at the things I bought. I laugh and write some stuff on a piece of cardboard. I hold up the words that I have written, hoping this man will know he’s not alone. He looks over at me. I don’t know what he said but it either was “Fuck you,” or “Vacuum.” I hope it was vacuum even though the former would make more sense. I look down at my sign and read, “I can see that!” We are not alone, we are all together, even if they don’t want to admit that. I drive by a red corvette with two blonde girls wearing oversized sunglasses. I write something on the cardboard and hold it up to the window. The one in the passenger seat looks over at me, laughs, and pokes her friend. She looks over at me, taking her eyes off the road, and also laughs. The one in the passenger seat laughs and shakes her head back and forth. They speed up and soon have weaved their way seven cars ahead of me. I take my sign off the window and read, “youre very pretty, I would like to get to know you.”

I keep writing my signs, and I keep getting ignored. No one wants to realize we are part of a traveling group. This journey could be much more enjoyable and engaging if we interacted with one another. The ride is going to be long, if we keep ignoring each other. I hold up a sign to the window. A blue jeep is in the lane next to me. The guy in the jeep looks at me and throws something out of his window at me. A large blue drink hits my windshield. I cant see out my front. I am unable to see the road ahead of me. I try to wipe off the drink but am unable to. My tires hit the vibrating lines on the edge of the road. The vibrating stops, then starts again as the other side of my car travels off the road. I try to correct my car but I only make things worse. My car starts to roll at 50 or more miles an hour. The world around me spins. Cardboard and markers are thrown all over the place. I hit something hard and the car stops rolling. I can feel blood pouring down my upside down face. My arm feels broke. I can barely breathe due to the seatbelt. I blink red out of my eyes. The world goes black. Nothingness, emptiness, I am alone inside the darkness.

I wake up to hear people yelling. Something is pulling me. I have been released from my seatbelt and am now being dragged out my shattered window. My hand clutches at a white piece of cardboard and I pull it out with me. Cars are parked all around mine. People are rushing all around, finally engaging in the world around them. I look down at the cardboard I pulled from my car. It reads, “when will you stop hiding and be apart of the world around you.” I look at all the people, they have gotten out of their cars. They are knowing a part of the world they are in. They have been forced to interact with each other. I cough some red liquid onto the white board. I finally got what I wanted. It might be too late for me, but maybe it isn’t too late for them.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty intense, Marshall. I like the theme of community.