The Freeway of Life ...
At ten o'clock tonight... Marta was lost in an old neighborhood choked with cars. Like an old lady still pined for her lost beauty on glaring makeup and inappropriate costume, this neighborhood pimped itself with many remodeled houses, twice as big as the dilapidated original abodes that surrounded them, three times younger, many times vainer with their brand new roll-up garage door, their manicured landscape, their twin entry door, their double paneled, double insulated glass doors and windows, their shiny lights sparkled at different locations, like diamonds on the old lady's shriveled body.
Marta was not lost alone, but accompanied by her faithful Magellan and her two kids; who understood their common dilemma well and kept an absolute silence in the car, when for the third time they heard Magellan's patient and firm voice announcing that, the route they were taking had to be "recalculated" to include their destination.
On the familiar freeway heading home ...finally, Marta had a million dark thoughts coursing in her mind, as if to mirror the passing landscapes, dark and featureless under a moonless sky. How like life was this freeway, Marta noticed for the first time. She was always fearful of driving at night, especially when she had to navigate the unfamiliar terrains, which required a sharper vision she doubted she still possessed. She was just forced to take this drive. As life, it happened upon her. As she drove along, her misgiving subsided, but her thought continued its monologue. She felt abandoned, disconnected, in her solo drive. If anything happened now, I would be the one who deal with it, head on, unaided, on my own strength, like giving birth to a child, like passing under the arch of death. I did not choose this, but I would drive this vehicle to its destination, not as a passenger, but as the driver of my own fate.
Marta checked in her rear view mirror for her two children, too peaceful together to be trusted. No wonder, only one querulous member was up to contemplate mischief, which had no immediate outlet. By herself, Marta knew she could be weakened by this unjustifiable fear of darkness. Many times while driving alone in the dark she had lapsed in terrifying imaginations of getting lost into the high mountains with deep crevices on both sides, onto an uninterrupted stretch of road that kept pointing higher, without any lights or signs for reassurance, when the needle gauging her fuel tank would slowly veer south. Tonight, however, with her two trusty children in the back of the car, she knew she would survive the ordeal, if only to bring them safely home.
Like on a freeway, people could enter her life unannounced, and exit it without signaling ahead of time. She herself could exit life prematurely. Even Magellan's vigilance could not prevent such mistake from occurring. Best she could do is to avoid distractions, while driving the vehicle of her life. Swear, if she must, to relieve some built up tensions, but keep driving, even when the roads are dark and unrecognizable, until she gets home.