All I Know

The back roads are empty and still as I pull onto them. I cross the four-way intersection with the blinking light, guide my car slowly around the slick, snow-covered turn, and slip into the blackness of the country road.

At first it is dark. My headlights are the only specks of brightness for miles. I turn my radio off and the world is silent. I feel my breath in the pit of my lungs. I let air out slowly, and listen to the sound. Then, as my car moves over a hill I can see out into the distance—black—fields, trees, and the dots of headlights and kitchen windows.

Moments like these, the silence, broken only by the pure chord of a country song, are when I think the most. When I am free of distractions, listening only to the words, and watching the road expand out in front of me, I feel.

My tires move swiftly underneath me as I accelerate, singing my heart out, pounding the rhythm on the steering wheel. There are no cars around me, just the darkness and the fields and the stars. Moments like these, time is endless.

I switch lanes, gaining speed to merge onto the highway. There are some cars, more lights, people hurrying to obligations or significant others. I shift from the quiet to a rush, like the crescendo of a country melody, beautiful. As my car slips into the highway traffic, my voice grows louder, matching note for note. I’m not thinking about anything but just existing, breathing, singing.

Moments like these, watching cars blur by, the colors of their head and tail lights mixing white and red, I know I am one person in the grand scheme of life. An out of body experience, really. Suddenly I begin to float, the tires lift, the steering wheel turns itself, and my mind is relaxed.

I do not know what will become of this life, what will become of me. I do not know where I am headed or if I am making the right decisions. All I know is that I love the way a car feels under my control. The sturdy, yet soft texture of the steering wheel, the strength of the tires. All I know is that I love the first notes of a country song, the way the beat kicks in and washes the words over you. All I know is that I love the quiet, the darkness, the thrill of the asphalt under tires and the freedom of not knowing, not thinking.

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