The dial reads eighty-seven miles an hour as the wind rushes through the cabin, stirring around the bench seats as it seeks escape. The radio is up and all four windows down, there is no need for the heater this evening and certainly no need for manufactured cool air. White light spears the night and falls upon weathered grey pavement that has witnessed this scene thousands of times prior. With a rock of the heel the highway signs blur further, one merging into the next, becoming indistinguishable. Addison, exit seven; Downers Grove, exit ten. Lisle. Bolingbrook. Each one loses meaning faster than the last and they quickly devolve into an idiot chant. As the needle dives deeper eight pistons pound out a chorus of explosions, their roar lost in the burning air, the output muted by catalytic converters and mandrel-bent steel. A heavy bassline rises from the earth and mixes with the steady exhaust note outside the composite doors to form a new song that speaks of liters, horsepower and independence. The chorus swells, singing praise and the glory of this perfect fusion of man with machine while lower bearings whine in protest at their mistreatment. The song continues heedlessly on, unhearing and uncaring. Gears meet and mesh as each injector pulse makes them surge with new life, their vitality aritificial and commanded by a key but undeniably real just the same. With the quickening pace the song takes shape to tell a tale of the present tightly held, the future uncertain and the past lost but where it rests in the dusty halls of memory. When it is all stripped away what is left but desire competing against fact? Eyes narrow, fingers tighten -- the road has constricted as the streetlamps give way to trees that tower above the asphalt, cloaking it from the stars and moon.
Alone on the highway, lost in the impenetrable dark, a heart yearns to fly.