Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In Control

‘Whatever’, I growl through gritted teeth. My hands grip the thick steering wheel, whitened knuckles withstanding the vibrations. My right foot is pressed to the floor, both knees involuntarily jumping up and down, like they are doing some funny sort of dance.
The roaring engine on the highway is not loud enough. My left hand fumbles on the radio dials for volume and turns it up to its limit. Still not loud enough.
‘He’s not well, Andrew! Do something!’ My mom’s whining plea fills the air, and her tear-streaked, pathetic face is before me on the motorway.
‘aaaaggggggGGGGGGHHHHH’, I scream, making a ball of my fist and stuffing it into my mouth, biting down vengefully on the tightened, salty flesh.
I turn the windscreen wipers on to full, their frenetic squeaking against the dry windscreen recalling her high-pitched, gasping sobs.
I’m now aware that I’m crying! My eyes are full, my cheeks are wet, and everything appears a blur. ‘Look what she’s reduced me to!’ I think. Roughly, with the palm of my hand, I wipe my eyes, and angrily bang the steering wheel. It makes little impact against the noise of the engine and heavy metal. I do it again: Thud! And again: Thud!
‘I’m king of the highway’, I roar, punching my fist triumphantly into the air. The speed makes me feel good. I weave in and out easily between slow-assed cars. My head is jolting to the beat of the music.
‘Ha ha’, I laugh. ‘My head!’ It’s doing that totally on its own, like it’s a separate part of me!
I’ve an urge to jump in ice-cold water, and swim crazily. I’d beat any world record!
A blue light flashes somewhere. I look around, trying to locate it.
‘Screw it!!’ I’m already all the way down to the ground, I can’t go any faster.
‘He’s not in control, Andrew. Don’t let him out!’ Her outstretched trembling fingers do a little dance around her wild, orange hair, which always looks as if she’s had an electric shock. Why didn’t she ever do something with that hair? I often wondered. I was often tempted to take a scissors to it myself. What stopped me?
‘Not in control!’ I pooh pooh. ‘I’ll show her…!’
I clap my hands to the beat, flashing light like a disco light.
‘Look! No hands….!’
The car slams into the side of another car. I don’t even feel it, and the cop car piles up into the back of me. Just like the bumper cars.
‘Not in control’ I tut, shaking my head, a silly grin on my face.
A torch is rudely shining in my face, like someone calling me for school I the morning. I put both hands up to block the light.
The other cop is shouting into his radio for help: ‘Casualty on M767, 500 metres north of exit 22. Unconscious and bleeding from the head. Send a fire engine, she’ll need to be cut out…’
My head is spinning, like I’ve just passed out on the dance floor. The music is dead.
‘Hey, who killed the music?’ I ask the cop, who’s shaking his head, writing me off, giving me no chance.
‘Do you’ve any idea what speed you were doing?’ he shouts, clutching my shirt collar.
‘Speed, did you say speed? Where?’ I wait for him to get it, but he’s not very smart. Instead I throw back my head and laugh heartily at my own wit. I don’t see the lights or the cops or the mutilated face of the young woman in the car next to mine. I don’t hear the wailing sirens, or the crackling radios or voices of onlookers. I don’t smell the smouldering burn of the engine. I don’t feel…well anything.
‘Not in control’, I scoff incredulously.