Ease onto route 29 from the south. It is a little past one in the morning, Labor Day, two thousand and two, and there is no going back, you cannot go back. The realization hit you tonight, like many things. That you would not want to go back if you had the opportunity.
5, 10 mph
You know that you are not in love, and have not been for four or five months now. You think to yourself that this is quite the accomplishment for a borderline; borderlines fall in and out of love so easily. Then you wonder, with all the people you have dated in the past two months, why it is that love has never crossed your mind. You wonder if you have gone cold again. The fear creeps back in, and you press down on the gas pedal.
15, 20 mph
Faster up route 29, you realize you are not going cold, that you are just — get this — being healthy. Fucking healthy. Well paced. Not some fucking psycho rushing into things and saying \’I love you\’ in the first damn two weeks. Pretty fucking sweet. Fuck fuck fuck, fuck! And you smile and think, fuck, yeah, I am doing this, I am getting healthier, and to celebrate you exhibit another borderline symptom and you accelerate.
25, 30 mph
You have now reached the speed limit, but it is a holiday weekend and the police are all elsewhere. The road is practically deserted and you fly through blinking yellow after blinking yellow, looking both ways well in advance, because if you have learned anything from dating Don you have learned about people who run red lights and how you do not want to be in a car wreck.
35, 40 mph
You realize you lied the other night when you said that you had rid yourself of your addictive behaviors back in December; the reckless driving remains. And here the road widens, the speed limit increases, and you do not think twice before teasing the pedal a little further to the floor.
45, 50 mph
Up and down 29 people are burning wood in their fireplaces, in their stoves. It smells delicious, like autumn making its way in through your nostrils, down your throat and into your chest, warming you up to the tips of your chilly fingers.
There is a chill down your spine, not because of the cold weather but because you are well aware of the fact that in the mood you are in right now, you could simply keep driving north until the gas runs out, hitchhike after that, just take off. Not say goodbye to anyone… and you would not miss anyone. Right now it would be that easy to be that detatched again. Instead, you look for some passion; you go faster.
55, 60 mph
You are the only soul on the road. No headlights in either direction. Yours are the only beams breaking through the night\’s mists, but you are not lonely. You could never be lonely in a mood like this. Indeed, you could never want anything in a mood like this — never want anything except to feel something, because right now you have gone barren like the night.
Somewhere between leaving your house four hours ago and now, you have lost yourself. You think this is the oldest story in your book; the cliched little borderline, missing her identity. Poor little borderline. Oh shit, is that a steady yellow light in the distance?
65, 70 mph
You see the light turn yellow in the distance, and you are cruising at 70, your car clattering in frustration, your exhaust sputtering in protest. You ease onto the brake and as you do the yellow turns to red, and the light starts to come back into your world. All is not lost.
65, 60, 55, 50 mph
Sometimes you still lose yourself, but you lose yourself less and less these days. You have a better grip on who you are and where you are going. As people keep pointing out, you are getting closer and closer to conquering those demons, whatever those demons may or may not be. But you need to slow down, because this light is red, and inertia is still sending you barrelling straight into the intersection, both literally and metaphorically, so watch it. You do indeed watch it, and apply more pressure to the brake.
45, 40, 35, 30 mph
You spent the entirety of today accomplishing a great many things, and even spent four hours working on your book. You got the home network up without anyone\’s help. Stop putting yourself down as worthless, useless and without identity until someone else gives you one; you are fully functioning on your own. Now slow this car down right the fuck now before you end up in the middle of the intersection.
25, 20, 15, 10 mph
Everything is going to be all right. As you pull up to the intersection, your window down, The Immaculate Collection playing, \”A man can tell a thousand lies, I\’ve learned my lesson well\” hits your ears over the hissing of your car\’s exhaust, and you think to yourself \’women lie, too, and when my book is made public I am going to be in deep shit as the truth comes out\’. Maybe you better wait on the book, if you still want to have friends.
You sit at the red light on route 29 headed north and you have your identity back, and it is Labor Day, two thousand three. Your name is Cassandra and your car\’s exhaust has a hole in it that makes an interesting sputtering noise.
You are listening to 80s Madonna and are trying to not speed on your way home from your ex-boyfriend\’s house, and you have too many stories to tell, many of which you know are worth telling. Whether or not you ever have the guts to actually tell them all the way they happened from beginning to end, in writing, available to the public, remains to be seen. Condensed zine preview/teaser due in December.
In the meantime, you have to cut back on the speeding before you get somebody killed.