Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Should've Left Sooner

He drove frantically toward the train station. She would be arriving soon and he had to be there for her, had to be prepared for whatever baggage—physical, metaphorical, or otherwise—she'd brought with her this time.

Red light. Red is the color of stopping, of contemplating drops of rain falling toward asphalt as the mind races like an engine on a track that never ends. Waiting for a new signal, a new direction. Wondering where the other cars might be going on a night like this.

The light turned green, which was his cue to go again. He did—perhaps too quickly for the conditions—and skidded through the intersection, kicking water onto other cars. Horns honked, but he kept moving. He heard the noise, was vaguely aware of it, but the commotion remained in the background as he focused on reaching his destination on time.

Buildings. So many buildings in this part of town, with surprisingly varied architectures. Easy to miss when whizzing past. Desensitized by familiarity. Stop and smell the concrete.

There were still 12 blocks to go and three minutes to get there. He would make it eventually, but not before she did. That immutable truth ate at him like ants devouring a dead bird. It overwhelmed him, animated him beyond reason.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Simple physics. Things get out of whack, movement is disproportionate to stimulus. Accidents happen, parts of the equation unaccounted for during meticulous calculations. Best effort isn't always good enough.

Six more blocks, 30 more seconds. Five seconds per block. There were no vehicles in production that could achieve such speed, even with the lights in his favor. There were barely vehicles in his dreams capable of such speed. Not that his dreams were of vehicles, asphalt, or trains. 

Should've left sooner.

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