April 2, 2009

The day I kept driving

For as long as I can remember, I have felt the need to have an escape plan from my life.

Recently, I was driving to work and I was immersed in my thoughts and music and I just kept going and going. Eventually there was a break in my reverie and I looked around and thought, Where am I? Where am I going? (Excellent questions, in general, as it turns out.) Nothing was familiar. I had bypassed my exit on the interstate and was heading south for parts unknown.

For a brief moment, I was free.

My mind swelled with the possibilities of where I would go and what I would call myself. Should I have a colorful past or keep it vague and mysterious? Should I make an attempt to let my family know I was alive or just fade into their memories? Where are the best beaches in Central and South America? Would I get the infamous Brazilian wax? Could I support myself by giving diving lessons? Could I learn to scuba dive in the first place? Would I eventually blend in with the locals? How far could I get?

I mentally calculated the amount of money in my bank account and, upon realizing I could only get about as far as San Jose, I sighed. And turned around.

(This was revised from an earlier piece.)

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