The Barrier

By Alexandra Kernerman Vogelhut                                                             Word Count: 270

Have you ever thought, while driving down a highway, what it would be like to swerve into the barrier? On purpose. Now, before you start worrying, I don’t want to die. Really, I don’t.

Imagine what it would be like to just throw away all worries and drive right for the median. Would you be scared? Stunned? At peace? I’ve never done it, but I wonder what it would be like.

I’ve had dreams where I wake up suddenly in the night. The road forks and in the middle there is a sign. Black and yellow stripes come fast at me. And then I’m awake. It’s only for a moment before I’m falling back asleep, as if it never happened.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m seeing either the future or the past. Maybe it’s neither. I don’t shake in fear at hitting the barrier, I’m just curious. I don’t get nervous when I drive. At least, I don’t think I do.

I experience a release of tension when I finally come to a stop. Then I’m safe, halted, in place. I’m relieved even though I didn’t notice I was stressed.

Would it happen quickly or slow, drawn-out, motion in limbo? Would my life flash before my eyes? Worried, maybe?

There’s merits to both options. If it’s quick, it’s over fast. Slow… And maybe I’ll be able to accept my own end. Or I might just freak out. Watching the hood of the car start to crumple into itself. The engine crashing through the sign. Glass shatters.

Anyway, sometimes I think about this kind of stuff. Usually while I’m driving.

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