We are tissues of charioteers—willowy-brained, multi-tasking, ADHD, sociopathic monkeys with paper soft skin and haughty skeletons. And in our veiny, twitching claws we clutch the reins of these wheezing Titans, beasts of that blitzkrieg of metallic roars and violent, ear-splitting smears of color and sound. Clutch the reins of these death machines, these ungodly motor-toothed monsters we send blasting through the air, numb to the red splattering of clumps and bumps they might chance to inhale into their wheels.
Every moment spent in the bright, vibrating skulls of these manic mechanisms, I spend thinking of exploding kneecaps and dull, sick thumps and bones snapping like twigs and messy limbs. Of flattened animals, someone’s Fluffy or Reuben or Max crushed against the pavement in a stolen fraction of a moment, their breath tugged out of them by instantaneous fingers. Of an outburst of atoms and gravity sideways before your brain knows what hit you. Then BANGshudderBANG as the mammoths of your own furious egos pound you one, twice, three times more with their enormous knuckled fists. And you’re shuddering inside like a mosquito. You’re in a seventh grader’s egg drop design, and your insides are running out of you.
That phantom of a nightmare, your own cringing eyeballs sliding over to the other passengers. Cadavers. Mannequins. Unmoving displays of messy muscles. And the dread that erupts onto you like a hellish thunderstorm. The emotions, frozen in little tubes in your body, seeing your life in wriggling pieces on the ground. You can see it all ahead of you. That once-glowing orb, beautiful in black space, now deflated—spiraling—vomiting—sick.
Or gone. Gone! The notion of the nightmare of darkness that might follow that superb supernova of glass and sound and shrieking air! Such an awful concerto, the runny watercolor world draining into the ‘event horizon’ of your own shredded skull and surrendering to such a profound and absolute silence that even microorganisms tremble before it. Before you have time to gasp.
I am resigned to recognize this chilling fabric within us, which the impact of atoms upon one another has the power to so unceremoniously tug through our throats. Foolish, of course, to fancy that it might dwell within me forever, by which time the world and my love of it would wither before me, but I withhold the right to dread its unannounced and shuddering confiscation from this temple of my body. My identity, surely, is sacred—but what I face everytime I slide into one of these things is the potential sacrifice of my world. All of it could disappear, at any moment, surrendered in exchange for that Thing which is within me and all around me but writhes in my esophogas when I try to define it. It is the end and beginning of us all. The before and the after and, to an extent, the in-between. The Darkness I will never even see. The absence of air I will never breathe. It is the prospect of a forever of never-again.
Motorized vehicles. Impressive instruments in our quest to forget ourselves and our place in this Wherever-We-Are. Gruesome, cancerous machinery with spilling black breath and body parts shoveled from under the sleeping Earth. Billions of them and of us, inorganic armor—testimony to the denial we have of our organs.
Cars Get Us Places. I would rather stay put. Rather not be plucked out of my skin by statistical fingertips when I least expect it. Rather keep my own limbs, and everyone else’s, in the order they were intended to be arranged in. I would rather not partake in this wild-eyed bargain struck with Chance and with the Love of Ourselves. Someone save me from this world run by these ‘Automobiles.’