Thelma and Louise

Every time I start having bad thoughts pop up, I begin to imagine where I would rather be. There’s no particular place in my heart, no classic memory of a vacation I’ll never forget – because who wants to imagine Disney World as their escape? Instead, I focus on the act of leaving itself. Jump in the car, drive somewhere I’ve never been before. If my mind’s trying to convince me none of this matters, then I’ll give it a positive spin; if nothing really matters, I can go and do what I want.

It’s a funny thought because I don’t particularly care for driving. The trip would purely be a vehicle to listen to music – so many of my best musical experiences seem to take place in a car. And despite the intentional aimlessness of this fantasy, I always imagine ending up in Washington, perhaps because my childhood best friend lives there. After all, it’s a desperate fantasy; this will never actually happen, so I can accept my own imposing nature under the imagined circumstances.

But this fantasy has become corrupted; the negative thoughts have infiltrated. Driving is such a dangerous activity, perhaps the closest most of us come to a deadly situation each day. But we accept the danger – despite how little it would take for things to go wrong, it barely ever does. Accidents happen everyday, but I’ve certainly never experienced one.

But the problem is how easy it is to make an accident happen.

I want to assure myself this isn’t a desire but a fear. I am fully aware that driving isn’t an escape from harm, that I could always make like Thelma and Louise. There’s a difference between ideation and simply being aware of the call of the void, but they in many ways feel the same.

Perhaps this fantasy is dead now – but it was never truly alive to begin with. The only functional purpose of this conceptualized drive is to get me through any current pain. So I can accept the danger of an act I’ll never do.

If nothing else, I’d rather my darkest fantasies be contained to the road I’ll never take.

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