My Good Friend the Speedometer

My knuckles turn white from gripping the steering wheel so hard. I roll down the window, letting hot night air rush into the car, smelling the wet pavement and exhaust of a sleeping city. The little red arrow on my dashboard takes a deep breath as I shift, then steadily climbs, number by number.

The speed fills me with a heady rush, a feeling of being truly alive, so strong it erases everything else I’m feeling. Everything else I was worrying about. All the anger and resentment and fear whips out the window and lands on the pavement, and I leave it farther behind with every second. Neon yellow lights fly past, and my heart beat thumps out the familiar rhythm of adrenaline.

A sallow moon hangs low above the horizon. A liar’s moon, they call it. A fraction too long—
guard rail
heart stop
hot fear
quick turn
wash of cool relief.

Nights like these, I only wish I could out-race my emotions forever.

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