The Artwork of Michael Divine

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When Driving One Must Consider

February 20th, 2008

When driving, one must consider that the slow-ass person who is blocking their path, isn’t actually just being a slow-ass, they are actually driving the speed limit. It is your fast-ass trying to get past them and top the limit by fifteen or twenty miles per hour that ought to consider this. Of course, when you think about it, doing 85 versus 65 is an approximately 24% increase in speed which will get you to your destination in just the same percentage of time less than otherwise. This comes to me as I learn patience on the highway. Following the tail of some little car putzing along in the fast lane where it obviously shouldn’t be but are there only for the fact of wishful thinking or me finding myself in the far right empty slow lane, zooming along with my inner scanner lit and my senses aware of any police radar eyes watching for me, I get to where I am going one way or another.*

But then, when I find myself twisting and turning along mountain roads snaking along steep drop-offs that tumble off the highway a thousand feet or more and are dotted with tall pines with crusty snow at their bases, I try, I TRY!, to slow down a bit, enjoy the scenery, the rising ridges and dipping valleys and then I remember the deadlines, meetings, appointments that all must be gotten to within a day or two of each other, and the music pounding, some kind of funky minimal techno igniting my spirit and the drive goes on…

Up up up into the mountains, down down down into the valleys, steep ravines and canyons, a river rushing below in torrents, occasional waterfalls, no time to stop and enjoy the view, no time to grab a handful of snow and bring it home, maybe broze it for memory’s sake, so I can look at it every now and again, wistfully, misty eyed for a pleasure of life I don’t get a whole lot these days.

Journeys like this are like a video game. There are the puzzle levels, where I have to stop and talk to the king of this land or the medicine man of that one from whom I must learn the secrets of the spine, acquire the important papers, the CDs of information, or the case of wine and the treasure, collect the check and unlock the puzzle, organize the info and be gone in  “x” amount of time. Then there are the hand eye coordination levels that are mostly driving twisty mountain roads from point A to point B to point C, and they just get twistier. As time goes on, and I get to other roads, and higher levels more people appear on the roads, the passage gets narrower, the sky gets dark and the level increases in difficulty.

Later I stop at a Panda Express for some food. I hate fast food but if I am going to get something it is usually fish tacos or imitation Chinese food from a big chain since I trust the freshness and cleanliness (or frozen freshness as it were) quite a bit more than the little mom and pop (sorry mom, sorry pop). The burger and fries combo disgusts me so I never go that route, even if my route takes me past them. I would rather go hungry for an hour or two more. But the Panda Express and it’s chow mein and veggies aren’t so bad. Enough time to sit, eat, talk on phone with a business associate, read my fortune (the prize of this level): “All of your hard work will soon pay off”. Right-o, all checks out. Then I am back on the road again to get home safely (the major objective of this game, above any treasures or feats of strength) to the arms of my beloved who waits for me patiently. Tomorrow, with this drive out of the way, I will be immersed again in the world I have created for myself. It’s a pretty good world and I’m consistently trying to make it better, stretch it, push it, find ways to expand it and include more- this echo of my heart, this outgrowth of my being.

Finally, as I pull in the driveway, I arrive at the final level where all I have to do is walk through the door to rescue the princess and there she is waiting for me with a plate of bread and cheese, a few olives, a glass of wine, some candles, smiling so perfectly.


*And please, by all means, if you are that slow driver, by all means, get out of the way, don’t drive in the slow lane. Really. You will only get annoyed by people like me whose headlights are shining in your eyes.

The Artwork of Michael Divine

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