In a dusty corner of you mind lies the realization your approach is reckless. When you have time you will analyze it further—maybe tomorrow. For now something inside you says leaning harder on the accelerator is better. If reaching a destination as quickly as possible is the primary goal then speed is the obvious answer. Cars swirl past on either side. What if their destination is the same is yours? It occurs to you there is no glory in second place except that created by the man who finishes there.
You’re tiring of this game the temperature gauge is playing. You really don’t care if it sits squarely in the red forever. Fueled by a renewed sense of urgency you downshift hard and go for a double lane change. Something is wrong with the steering; the engine no longer responds to the mashing of the accelerator. You watch helplessly as the speedometer flutters and begins to plummet. You picture the ghoulish grins of those surpassing you. The loss of control is consuming; its icy cold hands slide down your throat, wrenching your stomach like a wash cloth.
Suddenly your vehicle is possessed. It slashes across lanes, finds the exit, and coasts into a rest stop.
Abandoned and frustrated you kick your vehicle before turning away. You walk toward a sizable group sitting on the grass beneath a shade tree. You’re thrust into playing the role of an understudy who’s forgotten their lines; a stranger in a strange land. The words rest and stop aren’t even part of your vocabulary. The laughter and their frivolousness nature immediately puts you at odds with them. You sit down at a distance, but close enough to listen.
For the first time in a long while you notice the breeze, but more the things it carries. Your eye is drawn to clouds lumbering across the sky. The smell of freshly cut grass settles over you as a Blue Jay scolds a squirrel who draws too near. The man continues to speak, and what he’s saying seems less like nonsense.
“The further you travel down life’s highway you discover it’s difficult to appreciate scenery at a 100+ mph. Destinations and schedules rule you. With all the subtly of a black-hole it sucks you in, and like a black-hole it warps and distorts everything, and if you allow it—people, conversations, interactions, and relationships, become nothing more than distractions.”
You walk back to your vehicle, kicking it twice as hard as you did the first time. You still don’t know exactly what brought you here or the identity of the man speaking, but you begin walking. You cross the median and have your mind set on catching a ride in the opposite direction. As the sun settles closer to the horizon you hope you can remember your course and that it’s not too late to discover those things, people, and opportunities you missed.