Driving Distracted

I’m sick of all this Tron posting. Work’s progressing but it’s time to share some other stuff.

Earlier this year, I started experimenting with a form that’s kind of foreign to me. I’ve never dabbled in poetry–I’m a prose writer, a screenwriter, an artist. Not a poet. But there’s something lacking in prose sometimes. Abstract experiences are difficult to capture, and they require a much more loose structure, an ability to express the world and one’s thoughts in an abstracted way.

Enter prose poetry. A perfect balance between the form I’m comfortable with and the range of expression I need.

This one was written in October 2010, as I was driving west on Baseline Road, completed as I pulled into the driveway, and immediately recorded for posterity.

* * *

Driving distracted.

I know this road. I’ve driven it before. Eyes become less about absorbing details as picking out impressions of objects in space. I can’t be bothered to read or respond or evaluate everything I see.

I’m thinking about love.

Trees and street lights, lit signs all streaks of light and noise but no form, no shape. Not objects, no mass, just observable oddities as I move through space. I am aware of vibrations in my palms but not my grip on the wheel. Taillights blur into a single-point perspective, then disappear. Matter is not conserved. It’s all darkness and distance and relative spatial relations as I’m driving this road, the road I’ve driven before.

Intersection. Four points of colour, corners becoming cardinals. I turn left.

This street is dark. I’ve left streetlights and stop signs behind. Movement is irrelevant in empty space. There is no point of reference, no points of light to triangulate my tenuously-held position in relation to my life. Adrift is not the word. I’m under my own power, but my direction is indeterminable. I realize that since well before I turned, I have been ignoring the objects in space, disregarding plotted points in favour of the immeasurability of nothing in between. Easier to not know than to focus on the obvious.

It’s dangerous to drive like this, unseeing and at speed.

I make a turn on faith. A meandering left, in a direction I’ve gone before. It feels right. And at long last a point comes into focus. Defined against the darkness. High-intensity, and installed long before I left. More objects are here, but I don’t see them, not because I’m focussing on the nothing any more but because they are relative, their positions serving to navigate towards the horizon that I see coming, light-years and months away.

Space bends. Relativistic dilation makes it all seem very close. I have to remind myself that I have further to drive tonight.

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